Kirby Grip Channel Early ’00s Warped Tour Vibes on “Lunch Money”

Punchy and crunchy is the best way to describe Chicago’s Kirby Grip. Skateboarders making noise, Alex Kociper, Joseph Valdivia, Ryan Nolen, and Kevin Tiongson are built on making the kind of melodic, hook driven, guitar rock that indie, emo rock and pop punk bands were doing in the 90’s and 00’s. Truth is, had Kirby Grip been together back then, there’s little question they’d have been a main stager on the Van’s Warped Tour.

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Coming together and releasing their debut EP American Cheese in the fall of 2019, the unfortunate timing inevitably bit them in the ass as the global pandemic lockdown followed just a few months later. While it sucks, especially for a band like theirs which was built for the stage, the guys have persevered. They merely went home to Chicago and just kept working, writing and ultimately recording.

At this point the guys are sick of waiting for the world to stop burning so they’re moving ahead.

Their new song “Nothing Day” emerged in September and now as they work towards their next EP, the guys have got another couple of new tunes ready to unleash in “Lunch Money” and “Wall Ball.” While their official unveiling is slated for later this week, American Songwriter is proud to pull back the curtain for a world premiere of “Lunch Money.” 

Keeping their same high energy sound ala Sum 41 or Blink-182, if there’s one thing you can say about “Lunch Money” is it doesn’t fall short even though that’s what the song is actually about. A Lollapalooza sized anthem built on big guitar hooks but better served in sweaty rock clubs, “Lunch Money” is a one-listen tune meaning one time through and you not only know who Kirby Grip is, it’s easy to fall in love with them for it.

“Lunch Money is a track about coming up short,” says Nolen. “You think you’re there and swallowing everything around you whole, and you realize in hindsight you might’ve been a space case, you might’ve been aloof.

“We tried to have some fun with those realities and make this track have some fun energy.”

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