The Kimberly Steaks – Chemical Imbalance EP

Starting us off is the early Green Day inspired ‘Chemical Imbalance’, one and a half minutes of well-crafted deppresio-pop which serves as a warning against listening to the darkness in a hungover walk of shame. Gregg laments “I can’t take it anymore” and I think we all know how he feels at one time or another.

Next up is the jump-a-long pop anthem ‘Ticking Over’. Reminiscent of a tunefully sung Transgressions song, this track is another short belter. References to Rushmore, and the binge alcohol abuse present in the punk scene, the lyrics of this one are fantastic. “I need something to take the edge off of life” we are told – I guess we all do.

In the next song on the E.P, ‘Change Your Mind’, we are treated to a break-up anthem which is strictly for after the six-month mark. This is the token slow song on the record. Brilliant tune though. “I’d only end up letting you down anyway” – says it all.

Closing off the E.P. is a classic pop-punk cover of Herman’s Hermits’ 1964 classic ‘I’m into Something Good’. This is a brilliant choice – it offsets the themes of the record with a positive ending nicely. It’s a faithful cover just with the pace turned all the way up. Really enjoyed listening to it like 25 times this morning.

This is classic Kimberly Steaks here. Four little slices of melancholic pop-punk standing head and shoulders above their Californian counterparts. These songs feel like very early Green Day or MTX, complete with self-loathing and battles with relationships and mental ill health. The pace is there like it always is with the Steaks, but they’re showing a more able musical side with ‘Change Your Mind’. Out now on Round Dog Records/Don’t Ask Records.

– Andy Blyth

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