Review: The Kimberly Steaks- To Live and Die in West Central Scotland

Posted: April 11, 2014 in Reviews

To Live and Die in West Central Scotland cover art

Along with The Murderburgers, The Kimberly Steaks are painting Scottish cities in a new, not-before-seen light: as enlightened, green utopias. The Scottish tourist board have even recently praised them for their efforts. Just kidding: of course, it’s a shithole! Un-named urban hell-holes in “West Central Scotland” are put through the wringer by The Kimberly Steaks and their debut LP. The protagonist hits home their lost ambition, lost ideas and potentially lost mental health, with getting wasted the only way out. Basically, imagine if The Dopamines were from Midwest Scotland, instead of Midwest US.

The Murderburgers have been the obvious emergence in Scottish pop-punk over the last few years, but if The Kimberly Steaks keep up like this, they won’t be far behind. This is passionate pop-punk/ramonescore that you just want to jump around to. As the brilliant out-take from Look Around You attests beforehand, yes, the tempo is quite fast. Most songs last barely more than a minute and have shout-y choruses. The notable exception is the last song, their attempted “Jesus of Suburbia” if you like. It clocks in at over 5 mins and is split into 5 different segments. I’m not sure if it works as well as it could have done, but it’s nice to see them go acoustic, even if it’s only for about 30 seconds. Indeed, if there is a criticism of this album, it’s that it’s all a bit samey in its punchy tales of drunken despair and mental rage. But, two things. One: there is no ways you would not raise your pint of Tennents to this in a Scottish dive bar and dance like a moron. Two, samey it may be, but I would much rather have this kind of ramonescore from the gutter than ramonescore that only acknowledges surfboards and hot girls.


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