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Ming City Rockers: Lemon

Steve Albini joins the Ming dynasty.

Hailing from the bleak northern industrial town of Immingham, Ming City Rockers’ self-titled debut album roared into 2014 like a blast of ’76-style punk discontent. As often happens on second albums, the band’s age of innocence is over and the net is cast further as their raw assault is turned over to Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, Stooges) at his Chicago studio.

The nihilistic rage is still present, I Don’t Mind If You Don’t Mind casting back to early Damned-style chaos, but the sonic palette is widened to include Clash-style reggae (Don’t You Wanna Make My Heart Beat), Buzzcocks pop (All I Wanna Do Is Waste My Time With You), In Utero grunge (Scatter Brain) and blockbuster metal (How Do You Like The Apples?).

Death Trap even manages to corrupt Hawkwind, but the set still strains with punky hollering, Stooges-mutating riffs and the feeling of imminent collapse, which is welcome in these often over-polite times.

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!