Shopping embody the spirit of experimentation, social upheaval, clashing gender politics and ethical change that defined their 70’s counterparts and still ring true today. Formed in East London in 2012 by members Rachel Aggs (guitar), Billy Easter (bass) and Andrew Milk (drums), Shopping forge an itchy, angular explosion of propulsive bass lines, primitive disco-not-disco drums and guitar lines sharp as broken glass. They draw from a well of late ’70s / early-’80s post-punk with a voraciousness seldom seen these days, bringing to mind the jagged aggression of Gang of Four, the pure, raw yelp of The Slits and the dance-inducing thrust of Delta 5, The Au Pairs and ESG. The band released their debut album Consumer Complaints in November 2103 on their own MiLK Records with FatCat giving the album it’s U.S. release this past spring. Shortly after, they were named a “band you need to hear” by NME and an “Artist to Watch” by SPIN, while Pitchfork wrote that “the fragmented shout-it-out hooks, pin-prick guitar lines and ramshackle rhythms . . . sound like they were captured live off the floor in the BBC’s Maida Vale studios sometime in 1981,” noting that “they never sound particularly dated or like a carbon-copy, a testament to the group’s songwriting abilities.”
Their follow-up, Why Choose, retains the urgency, bite and the bristling, shard-syncopated rhythm-hooks of its predecessor, expanding their palette with the addition of synths on several tracks. Vocal duties are split between members, and while the songs have a darker undertone as the band sings about rejection, frustration, fighting, fleeting relationships, and losing money, there is also a kind of wildness and fun present throughout, sounding a touch like a liberated freak out of a shopping spree. With the majority of songs clocking in under two-and-a-half minutes, the album is lean and precise, powering forward on a relentlessly kinetic, infectious energy and leaving the listener craving more. It pulls off the neat trick of meshing edginess with an ultimately huge sense of fun.
Shopping’s Why Choose is out October 2nd on FatCat Records. Listen to debut single, “Why Wait,” which is available as an instant free download with all digital pre-orders. The band will tour North America for the first time this fall, supporting Shannon and the Clams.
SHOPPING TOUR DATES:
(all shows with Shannon and the Clams)
Fri. Oct. 16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Sun. Oct. 18 – Providence, RI @ Columbus Theatre
Mon. Oct. 19 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott
Tue. Oct. 20 – Winooski, VT @ Monkey House
Wed. Oct. 21 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB
Thu. Oct. 22 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
Fri. Oct. 23 – Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory
Sat. Oct. 24 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean