Berlin-based Post-Punk project SNIFF have announced the arrival of their debut EP, Perversion Therapy. The release is unapologetically raw. It tells tales of broken nights, depraved lust, and the hopelessness of chasing your own tail. Born from a relentless desire to explore one’s self, ‘Perversion Therapy’ is an unbridled celebration of the depths in which a person can go when alleviated of fear, shame, and judgment.
The EP is surprisingly compelling for a first release; the band seems determined to defy genre conventions and expectations. The record drips lavishly with reverb and distortion, which underpins the howling agony of singer Nico Pili’s vocals, giving the body of work a haunted and at times nightmarish quality.
Wearing their influences on their sleeve, the group draws from the chaotic and confrontational energy of The Birthday Party, The Pop Group, Virgin Prunes, and The Stooges while, in the same breath, evoking more introspective and anguished afflictions in the vein of Leonard Cohen. All the while, the EP manages to remain unmistakably SNIFF.
The record’s opening track, “Man on Fire” is a statement of intent. Its throbbing bass and luridly drunken guitar push its listener face first into a crescendo of catastrophic noise before abruptly shifting gears to the psycho-punk-influenced battering ram of Trigger (described in one review as sounding like it “…had been kicked down a flight of stairs and bled on”).
Driven by an unbending bass line and surfer-tinged guitar, “Going Great” is a dark, quasi-psychedelic reflection of a life on the brink of collapse. It rolls seamlessly into the follower, Anomaly Brain – a manic musical disintegration. The unyielding power of the drums, distorted guitar and unhinged vocals tell the story of a relentless onslaught of clubs and parties, and the inability to stop oneself from coming apart at the seams.
The band’s debut single, “Get Off” is a sultry contemplation of the dark side of sensuality. Squeezed into latex and gushing with erotic charm, the song’s hypnotic bass, wall-of-sound guitar, and seductive vocals describe a celebration of self-expression yet retain an edge of tension throughout.
The penultimate track, “The Core” is a slow-burn – lamenting vanity, longing, and existential helplessness. The atmospheric guitar, bluesy bass and deconstructed drums set an eerie tone in the song’s intro. With reverb-heavy vocals that sound desperate and defeated, the track gains momentum like an oncoming steam train, erupting into a double-time punk-inspired finale, forcing you to confront the brutality and immediacy of it all.
The record closes with “Leave”. The sound of a Berlin S-Bahn train taking flight at the start of the song simultaneously anchors it to the city while hinting at a forlorn departure. The track speaks of bridges burned and loves lost and, by way of a discordant jazz breakdown, ends on a suitably dysfunctional and cathartic note.
SNIFF is composed of Nico Pili (Vocals), James Pain (Drums), Chris White (Bass), and Daniel Murphy (Guitar). Their debut EP, Perversion Therapy is out now on Anomic Records.
- Man On Fire
- Going Great
- Anomaly Brain
- Get Off
- The Core