The Chats – High Risk Behaviour: a frantic and unpredictable delight
You may think punks and sunshine go together like spoons and microwaves. And certainly the sun-drenched surfer’s paradise that is Australia’s Gold Coast is not somewhere normally associated with punk rock. So Queensland’s finest The Chats’ first full length album High Risk Behaviour comes as an unexpected pleasure. Infectious guitar riffs and witty lyrics paint pictures of a riotous misspent youth down under.
The band first made their name when their self produced video Smoko became a viral success, earning them the support of Dave Grohl and Josh Homme and a place on a Queens of the Stone Age tour. Though the references to “smokos” (cigarette breaks) and “darts” (cigarettes) are unmistakably Australian, their output owes a lot to 70s punk and 90s garage rock. The band’s self-appointed genre, “shed rock”, is far less polished than many of its post-punk contemporaries. This could be due in part to their relative newness. Having only graduated high school in 2017, and assuming that the fun would have to end there, being asked to produce an album for Universal Records may have come as a bit of a shock to the trio, and this album reflects the rawness of youth thrust into the spotlight.
High Risk Behaviour rips into the first track, Stinker, with barely any breathing room, and the pace never lets up throughout. There are no self-indulgent guitar solos or contemplative speeches on the state of the world. Each song is made up of frenetic drum beats and tight guitar pieces – almost abrupt in their brevity. There’s no time to contemplate the ending of one track before diving head first into the next.
Lyrically, the album is delightfully immature, an effective reflection of the joyful madness and boredom of being young in a small town. Stand out tracks Pub Feed, Dine and Dash and The Clap talk about eating pub grub, skipping the bill in a restaurant and getting chlamydia. Though not insightful or complex, they conjure up images of a youth spent getting drunk and messing around with your mates, and after all, isn’t that something we can all relate to? In anxiety-inducing times like these, the Chats’ pumping basslines, punchy riffs and amusing lyrics bring a much-needed antidote. Youthful, frantic and unpredictable, this band is one to watch.
is released on 27th March 2020. For further information or to order the album visit The Chats’ website here.
Watch the video for Pub Feed here: