Amyl & The Sniffers, Rackett @ The Rosemount
w/ Foam, Hussy
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Two of Australia’s hottest up and comers showed the Rosemount why they’ve earned that title on Saturday night.
Their second of two shows as part of this year’s excellent festival within a festival, Revelation Music Days (for the Rev Film Fest), Sydney’s Rackett and Melbourne’s Amyl & The Sniffers both share a love of 70s Detroit rock and roll, but beyond that they proved to be very different bands. Yet both put on such ripping shows that there were plenty of arguments over who won the night on the way out.
Local support came from Hussy and Foam, the latter showing off new keyboardist Ashlyn Koh (Calmly’s drummer, also Foam’s manager last we checked) adding extra layers to the sound. And was it just us or is frontman Joel Martin looking a little more hipster since joining Boat Show? Working through an instrumental and fan fave I Could Milk Myself to finish, they still showed plenty of bite, and it’ll certainly be interesting to see where the new sonic possibilities of synth takes the grunge-y rockers.
There’s no other word for it: Rackett were a Revelation from the outset. First it was the outrageous outfits and then it was the lead guitar of Kat Ayala on opener Space Cadet that set their trajectory skyward. With Alive up next, busting out their two recent singles from the outset showed a confidence in their current direction. And why not? These guys are white hot; stage presence oozes from their pores and that super 70s fuzz guitar, a burn the bra fashion sense and lyrics like “I don’t need a man… I need myself!” show there’s more than a little roar to their self-described “riot-pop”.
To that end, singer Bec Callander is the star of the show. She baited the crowd during Ready or Not, the title track to their EP of last year, and dared them to work out who they were covering when the oddly familiar riff to Audioslave’s Save Yourself sent the most pit into a frenzy.
There’s a genius to this band, behind the colour and the spunky attitude to burn. It seems that, sadly for politics, medicine, the law and corporate sectors, our best young people are turning to rock and roll.
Amyl & The Sniffers don’t necessarily come across as geniuses, but that’s ok, they’re happy so long as you don’t call them losers. The mood changed markedly between bands with Metallica their intro music before three mulleted dudes took to the stage and started riffing it out. Then, through the crowd brandishing an unopened champagne bottle came the evening’s star attraction, Amyl aka blonde pocket rocket Amy Taylor, who soon proceeded to drench everyone in the front row with sparkling.
Considering how epically cool their 70s-Detroit-with-an-Aussie-twang punk rock is, it was striking just how bogan these guys are. Lyrics like “I’m not a fan, a fan of tradition/ I just wanna get pissed here in my kitchen” and “People look at me like I am a hooker/ But I just wanna be a venue booker” were a total crack up on I’m Not A Loser, while there were enough Metallica-worthy shreds to get the mosh pit sweaty and more than a bit feral.
A little bit dangerous and with a shittonne of comic cool, they belted through favourites like Cup Of Destiny and 70’s Street Munchies as Taylor shadowboxed the audience and reassured them “I don’t give a solitary fuck, fucker!” with some of the wildest punk abandon you’re likely to see in 2018. A political riot grrrl Taylor may not be, but a punk she sure as fuck is.
The opportunity to see two bands from such different worlds, both yet to release an album and both among the hottest names in Australia right now, was a credit to the team at Rev Film Fest. Here’s hoping a music program as good as this year’s becomes a regular on our winter calendar, and as for Rackett and Amyl & The Sniffers, fingers crossed they’re back even sooner.
Photos by Linda Dunjey