Monday, 23 September 2013

EP Review - Cleavers/The Kimberly Steaks - Split 7"


No wheels were reinvented in the making of this EP.  This is in no way a bad thing, as what you have is two bands unafraid to play music in a very well-defined style which they and their gig-going audiences love.

Cleavers might be splitting up, apparently.  That’s a shame as they’re as energetic a live act as you’ll see.  Agonised, muscular thrashing of instruments, bassists jumping off speaker stacks and invading the dance floor, and punchy, precise punk-pop tailor-made to make a grotty cellar full of sweaty people jump up and down, and occasionally crash into each other.

This is a good record of their sound - buzzsaw guitars, lead vocals which sound like someone sandpapering his own throat, shouty backing vocals in the chorus which you just know they dashed back to the mics to yell before running off to rock out some more, interspersed with those little new wave lead lines that every punk band from The Adverts have done.  You can’t really call them solos, they're very much from the school of thought that says ‘solos are rubbish, all you need are four notes’ and it’s hard to argue when they do the job in such a powerful, rumbunctious way.

The Kimberley Steaks are one of those faster, punk-polka bands that have always existed since about 1982, and should always exist as long as they let young people out at night.  They sound like a Glaswegian Husker Du as they plow through their angular, chugging chord progressions, keeping pace to the maximum all the way through as lyrics are spat out in a breathless rush.  Then everyone sings on the choruses, which are often the title sung over and over so you know what the song’s called.  They have a good ‘woah, woah, woah-ah-oh!’ at the end of their last song that everyone can join in on.  I have no idea what any of the songs are about at all.  Nor should I.  They’re good clean punk-rock fun and from their mission statement, ‘We enjoy playing shows with good bands and getting drunk’ it’s clear that the intention of this music, is that dancing about violently whilst guitarists and drummer play loudly, is one of the purest forms of fun that you can get.  No arguing with that here.

- Tom Everett

Cleavers / The Kimberly Steak - Split 7" is out now on Fuzzkill Records on 7" vinyl and download, both available here.

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