Sunshine Coast punk rockers The Chats are here for a good time. From punctuating the nine-to-five with a much-needed smoke break on scrappy 2017 breakthrough anthem ‘Smoko’ to the gleefully chaotic energy of debut album ‘High Risk Behaviour’, the band have always been willing to fight for their right to party. Album two, ‘Get Fucked’, puts that mission statement front-and-centre.
Despite the trio having released their debut album at the business end of COVID and being forced to delay the accompanying world tour, this is a pandemic-free record. Instead, the rebellious rock’n’roll rager sees them air everyday grievances and trying to keep the good times rolling. The twitching ‘I’ve Been Drunk In Every Pub In Brisbane’ is a debauched celebration of excess, and the frantic ‘Struck By Lightning’ comes complete with a grinningly vicious guitar solo. Elsewhere, the funk-driven ‘Boggo Breakout’ and the rapid-fire ‘Southport Superman’ champion those chasing escapism.
This record is faster, more furious and more direct than anything The Chats have done before. New guitarist Josh Hardy has a history in rockabilly bands and closing track ‘Get Better’ takes that influence and runs with it, with the group trading their signature chaos for a brief moment of swaggering confidence. That confidence is channelled in compelling directions, as The Chats come for everyone and anyone trying to ruin the feel-good party vibes. Poking fun at ticket inspectors, beach racists and boy racers, this record finds them fighting jobsworths and ignorance with laughter.
The band have always tackled social commentary like they’re down the pub, and ‘The Price Of Smokes’ sums up economic hardship with verve and authority. Opening with vocalist Eamon Sandwith complaining about cigarettes getting more expensive at a time when he can barely “afford to pay my rent” or “contain my head”, it ends with him screaming that “those bastards in Parliament ought to be hung by the necks”. Furious, relatable and cathartic, it’s unfortunately the perfect anthem for 2022. When they play it at London’s Brixton Academy next year, the foundations of Westminster will rattle.
Elsewhere, ‘Out On The Street’ and ‘Paid Late’ speak of the real-world effects of poverty while the hammering ‘Panic Attack’ captures an everyday anxiety. The group don’t preach their politics; ‘Get Fucked’ is simply a defiant middle-finger to those in charge, as The Chats strive to offer moments of joy in a world that seems very much against that mission.
Release date: August 19
Record label: Bargain Bin Records