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At the end of 2017, a grainy YouTube video of a track by The Chats called ‘Smoko’ went viral. Three lads, three chords, one very striking mullet.
Like the mullet in question, bad taste is central to the debut album by the Australian punk rock trio: a lot of the focus is on getting wrecked, and there’s no problem too large that a trip to the clap clinic can’t sort. But of course, it takes a hell of a lot of intelligence to make music this dumb. As hook writers and storytellers, The Chats are masters of economy – frontman Eamon Sandwith may be singing about the full fat pleasures of life, but the medium is as sparse as you like. With no funny business, sixteen songs manage to collectively limbo under the half an hour backdrop. Sonically, they’re painting in the scuzzy power-pop colours of Buzzcocks, The Hives, even Sham 69. And taken in that spirit, High Risk Behaviour is a huge amount of fun and does exactly what it sets out to.
They celebrate the best of times (having a really nice pub meal with plenty of ketchup in ‘Pub Feed’) and commiserate the worst of times (‘Identity Theft’ bemoans when your bank details are stolen buying drugs on the dark net). Stick it on at 5pm on a Friday. I dare you.
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