Bangers from Down Under: The Chats

Ever heard of a ‘goon sack?’

I first heard The Chats in 2017 after seeing a post on Reddit for the new music video for their single ‘Smoko.’ I enjoyed the song, questioned whether they were a serious band and then closed the video, leaving the song to flee from my memory. That is until about a year later when I re-discovered the song and fell in love with The Chats once again.

The Chats are an Aussie three-man punk band, headed by Eamon Sandwith (bass, vocals) and accompanied by Josh Price (guitar, backing vocals) and Matt Boggis (drums). If I had to sum up the band, I’d say ‘unapologetically Aussie.’ And they’re unique. Their frontman, Eamon, rocks a ginger mullet and often wears those tiny sunglasses that you see in memes every now and then. It’s safe to say the band prioritises fun over seriousness.

As I mentioned, I first learned of this band through their single ‘Smoko’ which is by far their biggest song at the time of writing. The song is simple – a catchy repeating bassline joined by a 3 note guitar riff during the verses whilst the chorus features some distorted power chords over some louder drums. Yet there is something insanely catchy about this song and it’s hard not to get sucked into it as Eamon shouts ‘I’m on smoko, so leave me alone!’

Perhaps one of my favourite things about this band, and one of the reasons I’d call them ‘unapologetically Aussie,’ is their use of Aussie slang and every day topics in their songs. How many bands will sing a powerful punk anthem about smoke-breaks? Aside from ‘Smoko,’ you’ll hear phrases like ‘darts,’ ‘goon sack,’ ‘long neck,’ and ‘dingas’ – I’ll let you look up what they mean.

Once you’ve tried ‘Smoko’ you’ll undoubtedly be spurred on to listen to more of their songs. I’d recommend ‘Bus Money,’ another aggressive song unsurprisingly about the singer’s lack of money for the bus. The track opens again with a steady bassline and simple, clear drumming before unleashing the heavy power chords in the chorus, and featuring a slowed-down bridge which I find myself joining in with every time I listen to the song.

Do What I Want’ follows the same formula – a punchy, repetitive bassline, distorted power chords and simple drums along with Eamon’s vocals coming together to make an incredibly energetic song. And having seen their live performances, the crowds never fail to appreciate that energy: crowd-surfing, moshes and running on-stage seem pretty common for this band, and they love it. Some further recommendations are ‘How Many Do You Do.’ ‘Temperature,’ and their newest single ‘Pub Feed.

Although the band don’t have a large discography yet and their songs all follow a similar formula, The Chats are an exciting emerging punk band that cover important issues in their songs. And if they aren’t your cuppa tea, don’t bother letting them know – they’re probably on smoko.

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