sun 14/07/2024

Album: The Chats - High Risk Behaviour | reviews, news & interviews

Album: The Chats - High Risk Behaviour

Album: The Chats - High Risk Behaviour

The Australian pop-punk trio's debut is short, sharp and shockingly good

At a time when stepping outside your front door constitutes risky behaviour, the short, sharp, shocking tales of misspent youth from Queensland pop-punk trio The Chats are a proper tonic.

"Short" might be an understatement, as it goes. The debut album from singer-bassist Eamon Sandwith, drummer Matt Boggis and guitarist Josh Price’s features 14 songs, none of which tops three minutes. Half of them are well under two. It’s amazing what they can pack into a minute and a half simply by discarding everything extraneous.

These songs start at a sprint, throw everything at you and then bugger off – presumably to the pub. The concerns are not, as you’ve probably deduced, existential in their nature. “All I want and all I need/All I crave is a good pub feed” Sandwith sings on “Pub Feed”, their punk paean to anything served with chips and a pint. It’s a good indicator of the matter-of-fact marvels that litter High Risk Behaviour, from the opening ode to a summer’s day “Stinker” (“We don’t get used to heat up here/We learn to fucking deal with it”), through “Drunk and Disorderly"’s mullered mantra:  “Relaxation, mood alteration/Boredom leads to intoxication”, and beyond.

Simple songs they may be, but never simplistic. There’s tight narrative, vernacular scene setting and hooks upon hooks upon hooks. “We don’t try too hard,” claimed Sandwith when asked about the genesis of the band’s songs, and there’s certainly a “fuck it, that’ll do” spontaneity that adds to the visceral thrill of it all. There’s also, however, an astonishing ear for a tune, which explains the band’s legion of dedicated fans, including Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and Queens of the Stone Age front man Josh Homme.

High Risk Behaviour is, without doubt, the second most catchy thing that will hit these shores this year. It effortlessly encourages absolute abandon, and puts you right in a moment where everything else falls away. It’s pure, unadulterated joy – and everyone could do with a bit of that at the moment.


'High Risk Behaviour' is, without doubt, the second most catchy thing that will hit these shores this year


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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