There are a lot of bands that cast themselves as throwbacks to musical genres from yesteryear. Bands have breathed new life into elements of disco, 90s pop, classic 50s – 60s country and most recently 90s house. Now we have The Chats in Australia channeling their inner late 70s / early 80s Brit punk with an Aussie twist. In their fourth studio record, second proper LP, Get Fucked, The Chats find themselves moving from skater punk to a stripped back late 70s Brit punk vibe.
Musically, The Chats are your classic late 70s / early 80s Brit punk band…think The Sex Pistols meets The Exploited…with a dash of early Rollins Black Flag from across the pond. Thrashing guitar, classic 4/4 punk percussion and amp feedback are all aspects of 6L GTR that will warm old punk fans’ hearts. Most importantly, much like that early Brit punk The Chat wear their working class accents on their sleeves. Bands like The Clash, Sex Pistols and The Exploited did not hide their rough working class English accents in their vocals, which added to class based themes within their music. Punk was the music of the streets and reflected that. The Chats have the thickest Aussie working class accents you will ever hear and this vocal adds to their own class themes.
Working class Australian themes and the everyday mundane passing of time dominate The Chats’ music. I mean, a 6 litre GTR is a basic hotted up Nissan that is a right of passage for any young Aussie with a mullet. The song is about the freedom he feels driving his GTR to the petrol station to get a pie and then by the roadworks where people stare in envy. They scream “I don’t need a big flash fancy car / Just need a 6 litre GTR” like it is a rallying cry for the rebellion to overthrow the aristocrats and take them to the guillotine. It is this grounding in the working class and the desire for any form of freedom that resonates with their work. In many ways, 6L GTR is the Chats’ Aussie version of Springsteen’s midwest working class tale Thunder Road.
What I love about The Chats is that they are no frills and what you see is what you get. This is honest music about class, struggle, dreams and a desire to find freedom in the small things. Underneath the aggression is a joy for life that we can all connect with.
Listen to 6L GTR