I think I might have a new favourite band. And if you’re hankering for a four-track EP that’s under ten minutes long with gnarly basslines and sweet guitar solos, or an EP that sounds a little bit like the good side of Green Day before they decided to go all rock opera, then Chemical Imbalance by The Kimberly Steaks might just be your new favourite band too.
Chemical Imbalance is approximately seven and a half minutes long. In those seven and a half minutes, it manages to achieve far more than most other releases you’ll hear this year – it’ll actually make you fucking smile. Which is not what you’d probably expect from a Glaswegian punk band, but nonetheless, it’s there. It’s not a trainride into Nostalgia City Station, because this EP is timeless – even if it takes you less time to listen to it than to finish reading your Tumblr feed in a morning. From the first heady bass tremble in ‘Chemical Imbalance’ to the cheesy keyboard outro in ‘Something Good’, The Kimberly Steaks have managed to create something fantastic. There’s harmonies galore throughout, especially in ‘Ticking Over’ – an ode to getting by. ‘Change Your Mind’ is the longest track on the EP, and also the slowest. However, it’s a slice of glorious four-chord punk from start to finish, the likes of which will have you itching to pick up that guitar that’s lying in the corner.
In a world full of thrashy hardcore and gruff, beardy punk, we need something light-hearted and irreverent, yet still actually good and vaguely meaningful to help us keep the balance – that’s where the Kimberly Steaks come in. Every song is perfectly structured into little bursts of irresistible punk rock dynamism, and you won’t find a tighter record with as much feeling as this all year. Pick this up on 16 March and experience joy in its purest form, which as it turns out, is sarcastic-as-fuck pop-punk from Glasgow.
4.5 out of 5 high fives!