Album #74: The Chats – High Risk Behaviour

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Sunshine Coast, Australia
  • Label: Bargain Bin
  • Best Track: Identity Theft

What a day for album releases yesterday was! I have no fewer than nine on my list to get through (whether I will is another matter), but let’s start with this debut from the young Australian brats themselves.

I keep forgetting that this is The Chats’ first album. They’ve had a few EPs out and it seems like an era ago that I first heard the viral hit ‘Smoko‘, but finally we now have a full-length collection of their boozy, nuisance-making yob rock nuggets, albeit still not adding up to the half-hour mark. And complete with an album cover that looks like something they scrawled onto a piece of waste paper while the teacher wasn’t looking.

They’re brilliant, basically. Their Aussie accents really add to their sneering, self-centred subject matters, whether it’s moaning about the stiflingly hot Queensland summers (‘Stinker’ and “Heatstroke’), wanting food but being skint (‘Pub Feed’ and ‘Dine N Dash’), picking up an STD (‘The Clap’, complete with shameless hand clapping), or falling victim to online scams (‘Identity Theft’).

I’m tempted to say High Risk Behaviour is a hedonistic album, but it’s compromised by reality, and is therefore more an album about making the best of a bad situation. It’s cleverer than a lot of people will give it credit for, in my opinion, as it deals with a lot of very real issues faced by young people. On social media, the lads come across as intelligent, socially aware and kind-hearted. I’ve always thought that far from being ‘entitled’ as they’re often said to be, most millennials just want a fairer world and enough to live off – plus enough left over for a few beers, of course.

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