shopping

Shopping’s 2013 debut LP, ‘Consumer Complaints’, exhibited a predilection for the more lively side of post-punk: those complicated cross rhythms created by Billy Easters’ funk-infused bass and Rachel Aggs’ erratic, chord-eschewing guitar and incisive vocals invoked an eerie likeness to Delta 5 and ESG, alongside the sporadic belligerence of Gang Of Four.

The band’s second album is not much different, and by wearing their influences on their sleeves, you might place them in the copyist bracket, recycling a sound that has been done to death. Shopping’s ability to retrofit a hugely popular aesthetic into something defiantly 2015 is what makes them singular, though, and nobody does it with quite as much conviction as this lot.

Live, they’re a party band, which has always translated well on record, and while ‘Why Choose?’ continues in this vein, it’s a little darker in tone. There’s no ‘In Other Words’ – the prevailing spidery single from ‘Consumer Complaints’ that ultimately defined this band – but there’s a similar fierceness in songs like ‘Why Wait?’ and ‘Straight Lines’.

Embellished production is once again forgone in favour of more emphasis on rugged melodies and clever song-craft, like utilising silence as an extra instrument and using sparseness and call-and-response instead of chugging distortion found in classic punk. Shopping remain as idiosyncratic as they are addictive.

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