SNIFFANY & THE NITS
The Unscratchable Itch (Prah)
One of the best releases from the UK punk underground so far this year emerges in The Unscratchable Itch, on a ‘non-punk’ label, from a band who were last in this reviewer’s neck of the woods supporting earnest indie strummers Porridge Radio. Don’t get distracted by all that stuff! Sniffany & The Nits, three-quarter Welsh ambassadors moored in London, follow two pre-pandemic releases on tape and 7” with a debut LP that’s fast, powerfully efficient, clattering and oddly tuneful.
You might know the instrumental wing of S&TN – Max Warren, Matt Green and Owen Williams – as previous members of Joanna Gruesome, but The Unscratchable Itch is more firmly in punk territory stylistically, hinting at the sort of distorted pogo fodder found on labels like Toxic State and the anarchic rattle of Australian bands such as Cold Meat. Atop all this is vocalist Sniffany, aka Josie Edwards, whose lyrics paint fantastical, surreal, sometimes unforgiving scenarios. On mid-album number Clam Chowder, the ageing swinger couple in this character study are like something Ray Davies might have once dreamt up.
words NOEL GARDNER
Looking for something to do?
The Ultimate Guide to What’s on in Wales!