At the risk of letting this pass without acknowledging it, I feel the internet and everyone involved needs to know more about the sheer brilliance of The Chats. Their name comes from Chatswood, in Sydney and the word chat is also a derogatory term according to urban dictionary and basically means, “shit” so the band are called The Shits?! Yeah? Yeah.
Why should we care about them? Well, for the simple reason they’re bloody great, mate. The simplicity of their pop-punk, is edged with this scuzzy, Sub Pop-90s sound, courtesy of the belching bass guitar of singer Eamon Sandwith and the trash-punk drumming of Matthew Boggis, plus the guitars of Josh Price and Tremayne McCarthy which alter between a low-fi punk scrape to a thrashing mash up of stupid gurgling riffs.
A lot of their songs seem to be about having nothing to do. Smoko, for example, is a 3 minute pop-rock banger about taking a smoke break and it’s absolutely excellent, right down to the infectious opening bass riff, to the video that was probably made for about $5 after a night on a lot of beers. The brilliantly unnervingly funny ending features singer Eamon, seeing someone needing lifeguard assistance, but he’s “on smoko, so leave me alone.” If anything, the video is going to make you want a sausage roll.
Other tracks are just as amusing, such as Nambored (which is about Nambour, and being bored there). a two minute tuneful blast of only having 7 bucks, and not being able to take the boredom and frustration anymore (but at least you can walk to a Macca’s). The bro-anthem of How Many Do You Do is an absolute killer, (thanks to that bass line) and is all about hanging out with The Chats crew, smoking a few darts and generally having a great time!
They say write about what you know, and The Chats seem to do that – Bus Money is all about spending all your cash on six packs, shitty pills and scratch cards (sounds good to me) all delivered in this wonderful Australian drawl. “I spent my bus money on a sausage roll, I’d have more money if I wasn’t on the dole!” sneers Sandwith on Bus Money, ending with the pleading chant of “ALL I NEED IS A BUCK OR TWO!” a sure fire live favourite right there.
Thing get a bit more serious (only just) on the anti-security guard spit of Nazi March – a NOFX song in disguise and a full middle finger to fascist bullshit, something which The Chats don’t have time for and the tongue-in-cheek chant of “left-right, left-right” only adds to their cutting venom.
Struggling with a illness is the subject matter of Temperature, with the words of “have you got a fever? Will you let me feel ya?” from Sandwith on this gritty post-punk slab of noise, completed by some great snarling backing vocals and snotty, brackish Shitty Limits-esque fury.
So, let your hair grow out into a fashionable mullet, grab your surf rescue top and a packet of darts and rock the fuck out with The Chats, the greatest band ever in this small time frame until the next one comes along. Also, I cannot stress how much these guys need to come over to the UK and smash up one of our tiny venues.
You can stream/buy/get the beers in and enjoy The Chats below or buy it on a fucking tape from Burger Records, yeah? Get ready to pay about £100 postage.