Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Amyl and the Sniffers: Comfort to Me [ATO, 2021]
Pay attention and what at first seems nothing more or less than the show of muscle this band needed reveals itself as serious next-level stuff. Not only have the guitar-bass-drum bulked up and Amy Taylor's shrill soprano gained focus and conviction, but the songs are meatier with no loss of the bratty lip that's her selling point. "I'm short I'm shy I'm fucked up/I'm bloody ugly" (which she isn't, natch). "I swear I'm not that drunk/I'm not that drunk/Let me into your pub" (although, true, "I distracted you with all my bullshit"). "I want to go to the country/I want to get out of here" (that one's called "Hertz"). And then, unexpectedly, at track eight where bands often hide the naff stuff so maybe she's nervous about it, one called "Capital," about how "I only just started learning basic politics" and does admittedly close, far more modestly than the rest of the lyric requires in my opinion but worth some humility points: "I love feeling drunk on the illusion of meaning." In short, as good a punk album as I let myself hope to hear. A