Fast-rising Aussie punk-rockers The Chats release their debut LP, ‘High Risk Behaviour’. With not a single track pushing above the 3-minute mark, the record is a short, sharp and direct punch of youth driven delinquency.
Opening the record is, ‘Stinker’, truly setting the tone for the album going forward. A fast-passed and pulse pounding affair, the track harkens back to punk rock heroes of the past. In particular, in frontman Eamon Sandwith’s cries of, “Bloody disgrace”, sounding highly reminiscent of the legendary Sex Pistols. Clocking in at 1:33, the track is a short sharp musical punch to the face, alerting the listener that The Chats have arrived.
Track, ‘The Clap’, epitomises the albums juvenile tongue in cheek sense of humour. The tracks football terrace, Oi! chant chorus of, “He’s got the clap”, only serves to emphasise the groups slightly surreal story telling abilities. This idea is furthered later in the album with, ‘Identity Theft’. Here the record reaches its humour filled best, with Sandwith gleefully recounting a mishap regarding the purchase of drugs online. Backed by aggressive guitars and pounding bass, the track maintains a hard punk edge.
Following track, ‘Guns’ is in stark contrast to the previously light hearted subject matters, with the group instead opting instead to tackle the heavy subject matter of gun laws in the US. It maintains its tongue in-cheek nature whilst highlighting a more serious side to the band.
‘Pub Feed’ sees the return of the football chant choruses. Leading in with a heavy bassline, its complimented by the short bursts of beautifully overdriven guitar. Praising an Australian (and British) staple, it is perhaps the most universally relatable of all the groups juvenile tales. ‘4573’, displays a harder, slower sound to the group. With more emphasis placed on the basslines, it complements the lyrics tales of warped suburbia wonderfully.
Closing out the album is the one-two-punch of, ‘Do What I Want’ and ‘Better Than You’. The former displays a lighter sound to the album, with the showcasing of highly Jam-esque sound to the track. As the title indicates, it is the clearest and most direct example of youthful rebellion that appears on the record. The later track, ‘Better Than You’, closes the album out with a refreshing change of peace. The track strays away from the punk rock that fuels the rest of the record and instead moves more toward the indie sphere. The highly self-assured closing to the album is a wonderful and perfect way to finish the debut from The Chats.
‘High Risk Behaviour’, is a rip-roaring example of punk-rock in the modern day. Self-assured, aggressive and brimming with a piss and vinegar mentality, the record delivers a swift, harsh blow to the listener’s ears. Ultimately dragging them into their world of juvenile delinquency and high risk behaviour.