The Kimberly Steaks – Big Noise (Brassneck Records, 2024)

I love the Kimberly Steaks, me. This LP, Big Noise, is their third full length, and the second on Cardiff’s Brassneck Records. Brassneck continues to be one of the best and most reliable labels releasing punk rock records in the UK.

Big Noise was initially released digitally last year, and the delay in a physical release is doubtless yet another example of catastrophic pressing plant delays due to all the usual bullshit associated with R*c*rd St*re D*y and major labels jumping the queue to press up more variants of the latest Adele record that will find their way to a bargain bin near you sooner rather than later.
As proclaimed in the title of their debut full length, To Live and Die in West Central Scotland, the Kimberly Steaks are from, ahem, West Central Scotland. Who’d’ve thought? If you aren’t familiar with them, as I’m sure some of you aren’t, they play a melodic pop punk. Short, snappy and to the point.

Fans of the heyday of Lookout Records are in for a real treat with this one. If they’d been around the Bay Area 30 some years ago, music history could’ve been a bit different. Although, come to think of it, that’s a stupid idea, as there’s no realistic way they’d have been able to listen to Kerplunk! for 30-odd years. Anyway, as you can doubtless tell from the previous statement, Big Noise heavily recalls the vibe of Green Day’s Kerplunk! (Lookout Records, 1991). Well, I’m maybe over simplifying things somewhat. The Steaks have much more serious musical chops than Green Day did at the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kerplunk!, me, but it’s cheaply recorded, and probably quite quickly too.

As I was saying, before I interrupted myself, taking the Kerplunk! sound as a base, if you were to cheese grater it with some classic Screeching Weasel, salt and pepper that shit with some Riverdales and slop a bit of Mr T Experience self-consciousness on the side, you’ve a probably got a fair understanding of what you are going to be getting here. And it’s fucking great. I think I posted the LP up on Instagram t’other week blathering on about “if Green Day ate battered Mars Bars (or other deep fried premium brand confectionary items)…” or some shite like that. The description stands, even if it can be interpreted as some sort of heinous slur against the dietary choices of the citizens of Scotland.

I’m not going to make any ludicrous statements about “album of the year”, as I’m not sure if it qualifies, having been available online since last year, but it should certainly be up there as a hot contender if it does qualify. I mean, they did make it onto the Punk Rock Museum’s “Best of 2023” list. I’m confused. But I don’t really care. I’ll be jocking this for the remainder of 2024 and I can recommend that you do the same. You can be sure of it.

Tony of Nurgle rating: 10/10

You can get this from Brassneck Records on a choice of clear or 50/50 opaque baby pink / transparent royal blue vinyl, or catch the lads at a gig.

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