Sunshine Coast punks The Chats have blessed our ears once again with a debut album title that fits their image: High Risk Behaviour. Coming in at a brief 28 minutes, it is supposedly named for the piled up tickets that drummer Matt has received for skateboarding where told he’s not allowed – how naughty.
This notoriously Australian trio have managed to impress us endlessly since their famed single Smoko took off over the country’s airwaves not too long ago, touching the hearts of fellow ciggie lovers across the land. Last spotted at Fremantle’s St. Jeromes Laneway Festival in February, where they gave us a taste of the upcoming album, their loyal crowds have proved that they’ve slammed their one hit wonder reputation straight to the floor. High Risk Behaviour is almost exactly the uncensored next step that you expected.
As we know them to be, Eamon, Matt and Pricey live, breathe and eat Aussie, everything the stereotypical bogan persona is and more in their music. Stinker is the perfect track to brace listeners for the collation of short tracks they’re about to hear. Opening line “Wake up in the mornin’ to a slap in the face, get up outta bed just to wash up the plates, It’s a stinker,” must have been written in the midst of the Aussie heat which they encourage us to “learn to fucking live with”. Musically typical from them, it’s guitarist Pricey that sets us up for some head banging and takes us home towards the end of the track.
You’ll find simplicity and predictability in the band’s choice of titles, which proved to correlate to most of the chorus lines in each track, usually repeated three times. Thats nearly the case in Drunk N Disorderly, coming in at four times repeated. A bouncy beat stays consistent through the next 1:16 minutes for a track that explains its alcohol-induced self pretty well.
The Clap outlines perfectly just how unsophisticated the album really is, inspired by a “friend’s” battle with the sexually transmitted disease, combined with their natural humorous take that is the making of a masterpiece. A simple riff and wise words, “I was cautious, double-wrapped/ But I still got the clap” makes for another one of their pleasant short stories. You might find you learn more from this unpolished track than you did in sex ed. The truth hurts.
Although a few tracks on the album don’t quite live up to the self-explanatory nature of the rest. Tracks like Billy Backwash’s Day (which pictures a day in the life of grub), 4573 (a beautiful edition of the band’s ode to their hometown) and Keep the Grubs Out (a discriminatory protest for people with mullets) are among this list.
Final track Better Than You is different. Musically taking a step up for them with muted picking and jangly chords, they’re still their shouty selves but it takes a more mellow approach. As one of the longer tracks on the album it takes the time to wind us down from the half hour of educational storytelling that we’ve just experienced.
High Risk Behaviour is the ultimate piss take – and much like this Aussie band, it’s very likeable.