Label: Bargain Bin/Cooking Vinyl Australia Records
Released: 27th March 2020
Any worries that ‘Smoko’ was gonna be a tough act to follow are slapped clean off faces within the first couple of minutes of ‘High Risk Behaviour’, the full-length debut from The Chats. THAT song propelled the Aussie punks to global notoriety almost instantly, pricking the eyes and ears up of the likes of Dave Grohl in the meanwhile. But that’s already history. Now, in-your-face, dripping with sweat and a feral ferocity, The Chats are here to kick up a fuss.
As the opener ‘Stinker’ slams into and through you, sneering with more than a hint of Sex Pistols at their least couldn’t-give-a-shit. And it doesn’t let up from there. With the vast majority of the tracks checking in at two minutes or less, it’s breathless but very far from basic. Bassist-vocalist Eamon Sandwith has spoken about a desire to stop things from getting boring and honestly, it never gets close. Whether it’s diving into social issues on ‘Guns’, telling the tale of being barred from venues because of those infamous mullets on ‘Keep The Grubs Out’, or building their own outlaw mythology on ‘Dine And Dash’, these are blistering full-fronted aural assaults.
Obviously inspired and influenced by the classic first wave of punk bands, the album still resonates with a heat and intensity that, just like those bushfires, can’t be easily put out. Like Amyl & The Sniffers’ debut last year, it hits that sweet spot of matching a classic sound with a set of rampaging anthems, unafraid to dabble in new styles that will continue to drag punk by its hair, whatever the style, deep into the 21st Century.