By: Paul Nern, News Editor
[Bargain Bin Records; 2022]
Key Tracks: “6L GTR”, “Struck By Lightning”, “The Price Of Smokes”
How would one describe The Chats to someone who has never heard them? Well if you ask them, all you need is three chords, fast tempos, misplaced anger at the world, and a keen sense of humor. The Australian three piece of Matt Boggis, Eamon Sandwith, and new guitarist Josh Hardy embrace this formula in a way that somehow feels new to the world. They sing what they know — smoke breaks in their 2017 viral hit “Smoko”, being broke at the bus stop in “Bus Money”, and of gonorrhea in “The Clap”. Sandwith’s Australian accent cuts through with harsh screams that educate the listener in Queensland slang.
Get Fucked follows 2020’s High Risk Behavior, an album that was met with positive reviews and cemented the trio as a force to be reckoned with in modern punk. The Chats easily surpass it with this release. They set the tone with the album cover, which features the band members delivering aggressive middle fingers to the viewer while the words “GET FUCKED” appear just below, delivering a short, snappy, and effective taste of what to expect.
“6L GTR” kicks off Get Fucked with a fast paced rocker about a car that they seemingly know nothing about; they just want it, and badly. It is here that Josh Hardy introduces himself on the track with upbeat energy and sends it home with a solo that explodes all the way through to a catchy outro that isn’t going to leave your head anytime soon. The solos throughout this album are short and to the point — Hardy doesn’t overplay, he gets in and gets out, and honors the song the way The Chats have always done it.
Sandwith has the beautiful gift of being able to write about anything. Examples of this are shown in “Struck By Lightning”, where he starts off screaming, obviously “I got struck by a lightning bolt”. The band add catchy doo wops throughout this song that keep the track moving. Also, concurrent with worldwide trends of inflation, “The Price Of Smokes” is a slow burner middle track in which Eamon bemoans the upward rocketing of cigarette prices. He doesn’t mind getting political either, as, out of nowhere, he starts to shout “Those bastards in parliament ought to be hung by their necks.” It’s yet another lesson on why you don’t mess with a man’s smokes.
This album has no lows, it’s too short and to the point for that. 13 songs in under 28 minutes is quite the impressive feat. This band plays fast and within each other, and this album is so incredibly raw it almost scratches your ears and demands it be accustomed to. It’s sarcastic and on the nose with tracks like “Ticket Inspector” and “Emperor Of the Beach”. It dabbles with serious themes with songs like “Panic Attack” and “Dead On Site”. What The Chats may not have with versatility or new ideas musically, they cover for with their intensity and showmanship. And listening to the lyrics, anyone can tell that they live the life they sing about. If it’s not the music you’re looking for, The Chats don’t care, they’d prefer you that way: out on the street.