Ming City Rockers - Lemon - Review
I first became aware of Ming City Rockers when they supported the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion last year (review --> HERE <--) and I have to say right there and then I became a fan. Their off brandish college punk rock sound immediately resonated with me, being a fan of The Replacements, Husker Du, The Hold Steady etc. They just had that sound that I always get drawn to. When I heard their debut album was on the way you can bet I was really excited for it. I have to say Lemon is a pretty damn good album, not a masterpiece but just some rock n roll fun and I have a feeling that’s exactly what Ming City Rockers were aiming for.
This album is college rock so I do realise that it may not be to everyone’s liking but if you’re in the mood for some wild production and pure rock then you may want to give this a listen. The album feels raw like the band just turned up and started playing, there’s no fancy production tricks to pull the wool over your eyes, what you hear is pretty much what you would live. Four friends playing their music and saying what they want to say. As a result you can just feel the pure intensity and emotion that goes into their songs. Ming City Rockers have made something genuinely enjoyable and fun to listen to, it’s catchy and sticks in your head for a good while even after turning the record off.
As for individual songs that got in my head, the single All I Want To Do, Is Waste My Time With You automatically springs to mind with it’s great hook and fun riff. It’s a song I would give to a friend to get them into this band. Also tunes like the bluesy How Do You Like Them Apples, the old school punk song Death Trap and also the more tradition garage rock song Scatter Brain get lodged in your head with their persistent riffs and gut busting harmonica solo. It comes together so nicely, it’s just rock n roll in it’s purest form. No bullshit, just rock.
Is it perfect? Well no, but it’s not meant to be, it’s a damn solid record and continues the path that they’ve set for themselves. Is it for everyone? Again no, I can definitely hear where people may be put off. It’s not a particularly polished album but if you’re into pure rock then you’ll definitely get a kick out of it. I like and that’s enough for me and if you know me and my music taste, you’ll know what you’re getting yourself in for.
Words: Mick Birchall Photos: Anthony Firmin and c/o Ming City Rockers