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 many 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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