Shopping – Why Choose (FatCat)

London post punk trio return with exuberant second album

Released Oct 2nd, 2015 via FatCat / By Liam Whear
Shopping – Why Choose (FatCat) The last song on Why Choose has Shopping playing nervous post-punk, with the only words being shouted numbers counting to five. These shouts drive the music through its individual passages, to the inevitable conclusion, where they just stop.

Shopping’s music is always moving forward, always focused on reaching the breaking point, of which only happens at the end of the song, when it chooses to give out. 2013’s debut Consumer Complaints was sprightly and defiant in its raw post-punk three-piece rhythms, jumping and dancing, quietly angry. On Why Choose, Shopping evolve their sound with synths, and with drummer Andrew Milk taking on some lead vocal opportunities, his droning muttering complimenting Rachel Aggs’ warble.

The synths are an obvious improvement from the sound on Consumer Complaints, but never overtake the instrumentation. Appearing on only a handful of tracks, they add the desired warmth and texture needed to elevate these select tracks to the best of Shopping’s bunch. On ‘Take It Outside’, they remind the listener of the delicate sounds of Kraftwerk, simply being another weapon for their arsenal.

Elsewhere, the other major improvement upon Why Choose is the band simply becoming more at one with itself. If Consumer Complaints was very much the typical debut, Why Choose is the typical sophomore release, and one can hear Shopping comfortably finding their groove. The songs are just that much tighter.

They still very much sound like they’re playing for John Peel in the late ‘70s, but that’s the magic. They sound like the bastard child of ESG and Gang Of Four, while still coming off fresh. Each instrument bounces off each other, as dense as it is fragile, frequently locking into grooves until they all fall apart at the end of the song, yelling out hooks about gender politics and anti-consumerism while jumping and doing handstands off amps.