Review: The Kimberley Steaks- Chemical Imbalance EP (Round Dog)

Posted: March 27, 2015 in Reviews

The Kimberly Steaks "Chemical Imbalance" EP cover art


The ‘Steaks are back! And this EP is probably my favourite release so far in 2015 (still feels weird writing that year). The Kimberly Steaks build on their debut album and continue to channel Kerplunk through West Central Scotland, albeit with slightly better production. ‘Chemical Imbalance’ is pop-punk personified, mixing early-mid ‘90s Lookout pogo-pop with a little grit from contemporary punk. The Kimberly Steaks flit between frantic, super-fast, super-melodic pop-punk (“Chemical Imbalance”), mid-tempo angst (“Change Your Mind”) and high-tempo pop, with a cover of Herman’s Hermits “Something Good” to ensure that you do not get bored. To be honest, there is no time to get bored with this EP: with the intensity the ‘Steaks play at, it is over before you know it.

But what is there is substantial. ‘Chemical Imbalance’ is full of ideas and thoughts that any youth will have felt at some point or other: awkwardness, boredom, loneliness and the dreaded hope. There is a feeling here that the protagonist is drifting, unsure of himself and going nowhere. It is this that reminds me of early Green Day: sitting around, just watching the time pass, bored or drugged out of your mind. The protagonist’s questioning of his own mind simply adds to that feeling of detachment from the world, which paints a stark picture: “and it’s hard to keep yourself sane when you’re fucked up almost every night”. Lines like “There must be more to life than just killing time” sum up the issue. What I like here is that feels real, a frustration and detachment that is tangible, much more so than many other punk bands that go down the “my life sux” route. I mean, who can’t relate to “I need something to take the edge off of life”? (which is probably my ‘hook’ of the year so far, by the way). It is essentially a kick in the guts that feels like your own. And then Herman’s Hermits comes on…

Listen here:


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