The Chinese Are Coming (2016) is the latest chapter in Wuhan punk legends SMZB’s long march towards the dangerous red line of Communist Party censorship. As China’s economy has exploded, its rulers have maneuvered to keep its people pacified with consumerist pleasures in the place of any concrete role in their own governance. This is a topic that SMZB vocalist Wu Wei has tackled head-on, repeatedly, over the band’s 20-year career. This album is no exception. It opens with the bagpipe-heavy anthem “10,000 Ways to Rebel”, an update of SMZB’s “1,000 Ways to Rebel” from a decade earlier. Their energy hasn’t waned, but increased tenfold, Wu Wei seems to indicate, crooning that “If there’s one reason to want to fight, you can find 10 ways to fight.” Wu tackles every aspect of Chinese society on The Chinese Are Coming, most blisteringly on album closer “The Song of the Seagull” (“海鸥之歌”), which takes its lyrics from a 1960s dissident who was imprisoned and eventually killed by the CCP; with no other recourse for expression, she wrote protest poetry on her prison walls, in her own blood. This song is an uncomfortable and blatant reminder that SMZB’s music comes at great personal risk, and The Chinese Are Coming is yet more testimony to the fact that they’ll keep voicing an alternative vision of today’s China until they run out of blood, sweat and tears.