Ming City R*ckers - Lemon (Republic Of Music)

Ming City R*ckers – Lemon (Republic Of Music)

It’s been nearly three years since we last jumped into bed with Lincolnshire’s Ming City R*ckers on their self titled debut. It was apparent then, and it is still abundantly clear now, that the quartet are no fans of foreplay, preferring to get immediately down to business with straight ahead rockers like opener ‘Sell Me A Lemon‘. Granted, the thrill only lasts for three minutes and nineteen seconds, and the band are reluctant to experiment too much thereafter, but regardless of their penchant for quickies, they’re certainly not going to roll over and go to sleep just yet. Hell no.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Ming City R*ckers is that, despite their roots, most of the time they sound anything BUT English. ‘All I Wanna Do Is Waste My Time With You‘, for instance, paints them as dead ringers for the New York Dolls, a gloriously shouty, gin soaked endorsement of hedonism. ‘Death Trap‘, which immediately precedes it, is almost as good – a frantic two and a half minute rush of punk in its purest form. The whole thing is decadently, unrelentingly exciting, barely taking a breather until the post coital cigarette calm of ‘Scatter Brain‘, which feels like a slowed down version of The Hives, if Billy Childish had been enlisted on harmonica duty. Really, the only OTHER track here that sprinkles us with cooling water is ‘Trying To Find Pixies‘, a reggae-ish rhythm & blues tune that borrows craftily from the band it references: those staccato guitar phrases are at least a vague nod towards ‘Mr. Grieves‘, anyway.

You could probably go through the vast majority of Lemon deciding which US punk band each track sounds like, and come up with separate answers for every single one. The aforementioned Dolls, The Stooges, The MC5 and The Flesh Eaters are happily distinguishable, but mostly the songs are so catchy, you could easily imagine that the inimitable Buzzcocks frontman Pete Shelley might have written them.

The only criticism anyone could level at the band with any conviction, is whether their performance is becoming a little too “vanilla”. It’s hardly that much of a departure from the sound of their debut after all, but then, it’s still a lot of fun, and hey, vanilla is a lot of people’s favourite flavour.

If you like your music broad, your lyrics obtuse and your vocals delivered with a petulant sneer, ‘Lemon’ will not disappoint. A worthy follow up.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.