10 Oct 2015

Shopping / Why Choose (album review)

Popping post-punk gems, the new album by London punk band Shopping is one of the finest examples of the genre in recent times. Why Choose might be repetitive at first, in that it's a very stop-start record with 12 songs on there; but listen closer - these could basically be 12 singles, Shopping are so brilliant at creating danceable pop songs with a classic Gang Of Four aesthetic. 

On lead single Why Wait, the bassline's furious, and the guitar is gloriously scratchy, and opener Wind Up is just blistering; from the outset, Shopping are throwing sonic punches left right and centre. Straight Lines and Take It Outside are pure punk rock, and Say It Once is a brilliant, brilliant jangle-pop in which the band just really hit up a groove.

Throughout the whole of Why Choose, the band just channel a real apathy and whole lotta frustration that's almost endemic among a lot of young bands. They refuse to give themselves the 'political' label, which is evident in lyrics that are much more personal than broadly political, although echoes of contempt for modern life; i.e. an angular attack on consumer culture can be heard on Why Wait.

But perhaps obviously, the most of the focus on this record is the real liveliness that Shopping bring with them into the studio - this is among the most danceable indie records I've ever heard, and I'm sure they'd give me the evils for the comparison, but for this reason Shopping are very much the London DIY scene's Franz Ferdinand. It's almost difficult to comprehend the sheer upbeat brilliance of this record with words. I should be do this review in interpretive dance.

But yes; what they lack in real originality, because they are similar to every band that every review I've read compares them to, they make up for with their sheer energy, and their kinetic upbeat sound.

buy it here


(written by calum cashin)