This Shopping article was written by Macon Oxley. Edited by Rachel Louise Atkin
After impressing with ‘Consumer Complaints’ in 2013, Shopping return to action with the equally brilliant ‘Why Choose’.
It’s fair to say that the band haven’t tweaked much in terms of their sound, with the follow-up staying true to a lot of the elements that gave their debut its impact: angular rhythms, cutting guitars and punchy bass combining to give a very fun, infectiously catchy noise.
Stylistically, this one comes straight out of the post-punk playbook with sonic references to the likes of Gang of Four, Au Pairs and Martha and the Muffins on tracks like ‘Say It Once’ and ‘Sinking Feeling’. These are joined by some new wave nods and funkier forays, such as on ‘Time Wasted’, where the band seem to tip their hats to the more groove-conscious end of the punk spectrum – think ESG and other more contemporary dance-punk exponents. Of course, this is far from accidental with the London three-piece having previously stated explicitly that they “just wanted to make people dance”.
Easily avoiding the run-of-the-mill punk zone, tracks like ‘Why Wait?’ really deliver with skittering guitars, a disco beat and bass with enough punch to clean your clock.
Lyrically, adhering to the band’s namesake, the overriding theme seems to be displaying distaste towards – or rather just an observation on – consumerism’s effect on society. That said, the band have rebuffed the idea that they purposefully set out to create a record containing social or political commentary, claiming they hadn’t put “that much thought” into it and were solely intent on creating a feel-good dance-like album. Indeed, it must be said, the band have very much succeeded in that aim, with numbers like ‘I Have Decided’ offering up plenty of groove along with catchy guitar hooks and some very cool group vocals.
If you like a bit of a shuffle and if you take your punk cup of tea with some slightly less conventional milk, then you’ll love ‘Why Choose’. Pairing post-punk prowess with new age nous, Shopping pack their second album with all that’s good about this kind of music: a polybag brimmed with delicious guitar lines, three-way vocal play-offs, stomping drums and frame-shuddering bass lines. This is certainly a great album to move around to.
Due for launch on October 2nd, ‘Why Choose’ is available on FatCat Records