Album Review: Cold Chisel - No Plans

1 May 2012 | 1:47 pm | Dan Condon

This isn’t to say that No Plans is predictable, it’s just that it has the kind of ingredients a Cold Chisel record should have.

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I'm standing in the sun, smokin' a cigarette; no plans,” Jimmy Barnes growls before Cold Chisel circa-2012 come in and chug along behind him on the eponymous opening track of Cold Chisel's first album in 14 years, before barking “fuck you!” with all the antagonistic cheek and aggression he may have been renowned for as a younger man. The nostalgia that goes hand-in-hand with Cold Chisel is incredible in this country and, while it's helped these guys forge careers as performers, it makes new material a prospect that perhaps not all of their fans are thrilled about. The biggest risk is, of course, that Chisel might dull their considerable legacy. Well, they haven't.

The aforementioned opener shows they are still a vital rock'n'roll band, while first single Everybody follows with a far more laidback gait, but is powerful in its own way; Barnes' vocal tackling Don Walker's biting lyrics with the right amount of venom. Of course it can't be long before a classy Chisel love song and All For You is no slouch in that department, while Missing A Girl covers the 'lonely, fucked up bloke who should have known better' ground, and HQ454 Monroe keeps enthusiasts/bogans interested with a little car talk.

All this isn't to say that No Plans is predictable, it's just that it has the kind of ingredients a Cold Chisel record should have. Though it must be noted that I Got Things To Do, a song penned and sung by sadly deceased Chisel drummer Steve Prestwich, is something of a surprise in its sheer quality. Its inclusion was no token gesture, it's a gorgeous end to a solid album from our favourite (aging) sons.