Even though they’ve been around for ages, honestly, Ming Ming and the Ching Chings are a band I’ve never really paid much attention to, for the simple reason that their name always makes me think of Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong, and life is too short to spend time thinking about that particular talent vacuum.
However, since their upcoming new EP has made its way to me it would be rude to ignore it just because I dislike their name, not even I am that petty. A quick look at the band’s MySpace for a bit of background sees them start their list of influences with “Sergio Leone, Airwolf, Taxi”. This could all go horribly wrong, or very, very right then.
First impressions are promising enough, good hooks, scuzzy basslines, fuzzed up guitar, some parping brass, and a breakneck pace (along with my spellcheck screaming at me that many of those aren’t real words) and bags of attitude and served up in heaps on opener Season of Horrors. Secrets of Men does similar, but slows the pace enough to catch breath. Well, momentarily at least… This songs puts me in mind of the likes of The Cramps a bit, which is no bad thing.
After that brief breather Creepy Tales ups the pace again, before Punch in the Face verges dangerously close to Fratellis territory, but stays just on the right side of bouncy on fun to avoid making the song title into something you’d like to do to one of the band members.
Throughout the EP there’s bags of attitude and swagger about the band, but thankfully they’ve also remembered the thing that so many others forget, which is to back the cockiness up with bloody good songs.
By the time you’ve reached the final track of the five it becomes obvious that that short, sharp, infectious, filthy sounding pop is something that Ming Ming and the Ching Chings excell at. Just as you might wonder if there’s more to them that than the final track answers a resounding yes. In contrast to the songs before that struggle to average three minutes between them EP closer Straighten Up! comes in a few seconds short of a monstrous eight minutes, and there’s never a dull moment during it.
Straighten Up! is frantic, frenetic, and surely destined to cause carnage on dancefloors forever.
So, how did it go? Fears were dismissed early on, it all got very messy but very fun, and everything turned out gloriously right. Can’t ask for much more than that really.
I’m not convinced Ming Ming and the Chings Chings bring much new to the table, but when something is this much fun, energetic and charismatic that is quite alright with me. Still don’t like the name mind you, but I’ll deal with it.
Ming Ming and the Ching Chings – MySpace
Not In Anyone’s Gang is launched with a gig at Nice n Sleazy on May 30th, with the EP going on full release on limited edition CD and download on May 31st.