Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’

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As we continue to mourn the loss of Andy Gill, the celebration of his band’s influence on young groups within and outside of his native UK continues on with every dancy post-punk album that creeps into our most listened to Spotify playlists. Shopping have been in such playlists for five years or so now, and the release date for their fourth album may just be the balm we need for the Gang-of-Four-sized hole in our hearts.

The London-formed trio of guitarist Rachel Aggs (now based in Glasgow), drummer Andrew Milk (yep, also Glasgow), and bassist Billy Easter (a newly christened Angeleno) are the rare kind of supergroup that works; it seems like a shared passion for new wave has inspired a chaotic camaraderie often defined by their penchant for stepping on each other’s toes. At times their staccato instrumentation is met with agreeable vocal harmonies, though it seems more common that the trio find themselves singing over each other.

One such song from “All or Nothing”—out today—is “No Apologies,” which Easter describes as being about “intense indecision and feeling like you’re being pulled in several different directions emotionally.” Summarizing much of the group’s back catalog, she explains: “We all sing at the same time in parts of this song, and for me that also reflects the noise that can fill your head during times of high emotion.”

For more insight on each individual track from all three band members, read on for the descriptive track-by-track below. All or Nothing is out now via FatCat Records

1. “All or Nothing”

Rachel: We wrote this song when we had some days off tour in Seattle, staying with a friend of a friend who happened to have a really nice practice space in his basement. I remember coming up with the main guitar riff, and Andrew instantly came in with this drum part that started on the second beat of it—I find it so satisfying to play, that drum beat, and the way Billy’s bassline drops in with it has such a cool kick to it. We wrote the second part as a totally separate song and then smashed them together. Our songwriting method is pretty chaotic that way.

2. “Initiative”

Rachel: This one came out pretty fully formed. Sometimes that just happens! We played it on tour in Germany and I tried out various weird lyrics on stage, I figured a German-speaking audience wouldn’t judge us too harshly for talking a small amount of nonsense whilst I figured out what I wanted to sing about. When we were mixing in LA with Nick Sylvester, we added the rolling Moog baseline in the chorus, because he was like, “We need to make the chorus really explode,” and we loved it instantly. It,s a frustrated song about responsibility and blame, it’s pretty angry, but it has this groove that propels you forward.

Billy: The bassline for this one also came to me while we were in the Seattle basement. It’s kinda frenetic, I was feeling very excited/anxious and I think it shows in the sound we produced. It was also a few days before we performed to the biggest ever crowd at San Francisco Pride, a very exciting time!

3. “Follow Me”

Rachel: This song began life reacting to the experience of literally being followed around a shop by a security guard, thinking about surveillance and profiling, what do you represent as a person of color or part or a counterculture or wearing a hoodie—what does it take for a person to look suspect or visible and how does it feel to be that person?

Billy: We couldn’t ignore that the words “Follow me” also hold another meaning with regards to social media, personal brands, and cults of personality, though. It’s also about feeling aware that the image you are projecting online is often distorted/amped up/unreal, but (especially as a band or a musician) you are still benefiting from that illusion. There is something sexy about this deceptive power play. The thrill of the chase, knowing that someone is thinking about or watching you. “CCTV is living for me.” We complain constantly about breaches of privacy and surveillance culture, but part of us also loves the attention. I remember writing this being really fun, we were dancing around a lot.

4. “No Apologies”

Andrew: Deciding to make significant changes in your life can be a complicated struggle with yourself, your self-doubt, and saboteur. Nothing is ever truly black and white. This song is about that internal struggle with your own choices. How do you weigh up what you have to gain against what you will inevitably lose? Fragile relationships are strained and broken, risks are calculated and taken, but it’s always a leap into the unknown.

5. “For Your Pleasure”

Rachel: This one’s about the feeling of constantly longing for something that is just out of reach, or that you can’t yet name. “What you see is what you get”—the feeling that doing something reckless or satisfying in the moment will bring you some kind of transcendent joy when really you will probably just end up with a hangover or a lingering sense of regret. Being in a loving relationship but still having nagging thoughts about the thrill of having a crush/dreaming of other realities and choices you could have made. I was really learning on the spot when it came to the synth on this song but I remember we really wanted that propulsive, arpeggiated sound and I was so pleased with myself when I figured out how to do it. Billy and our friend Lessa Millet made an awesome video for this song with loads of fabulous friends at the dance party of our dreams…

Billy: I would love this song to be a queer dance anthem! So Lessa and I went with that theme when making the video for the song. It was really fun!

Andrew: I started a Hi-NRG club night with a friend in Glasgow about a year ago and have been pretty obsessed with arpeggiated synth and octave jumping so was really pleased with the heavily ’80s disco vibe we created with this track. It has a really satisfying outro that reaches a kind of fever pitch.

6. “About You”

Rachel: I really love how this song starts out pretty sparse and odd, but then takes this unexpected melodic turn at the end—it felt pretty different to anything we’ve done in the past, a lot sweeter sounding.

Billy: I feel like this is kinda the sad love song of the album, again maybe about feeling happy but needing more. I really love it, I think it’s the most “beautiful” song we have ever written, and I feel a real surge of emotion when the song builds towards the end.

7. “Lies”

Andrew: This one was about being true to yourself and valuing that in others. About not being able to stand by while a friend or loved one is undervaluing themselves/not being true to themselves and/or putting themselves into situations that you know are toxic/harmful.

8. “Expert Advice”

Andrew: Truth is a difficult concept to hold onto in this day and age—“Can you rely on this narration?” How much of what we hear and read in the media is a story tailored to our own pre-existing biases? In the limited dealings we’ve had with media it’s hard to not subconsciously tailor our own responses to fit our own story as a band—when, in reality, your conception of who you are/what you do and for what reasons can change from moment to moment. We all sing on this one which always feels awesome, that the three of us felt inspired to relate to the track.

Billy: For me this can also apply to personal relationships, when we tailor ourselves or play a role that we think will make other people accept and love us.

9. “Body Clock”

Rachel: This guitar riff is so stupid we still refer to it as “Rock Song,” and we couldnt really take it seirously for a while. When we played it to Davey Warsop, who recorded the album, he liked it so much that he convinced us it could actually be a proper song, but it didn’t get a real name ’til right before we mastered the album.

10. “Trust in Us”

Andrew: I liked how the wording can put you in mind of a hypothetical person in position of power, and also a tongue in cheek way of talking about our band. As in, “We are on album four now and you can trust in us, dear listener.”

Band Members
Billy Easter, Andrew Milk, Rachel Aggs
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Trash Kit are Rachel Aggs (guitar, vocals), Rachel Horwood (drums, vocals) and Gill Partington (bass). Three deeply creative individuals who play in a multitude of other groups including Bas Jan, Sacred Paws, Shopping and Bamboo, united by a shared decade of spry musicality that surges through their bodies, hearts and heads with Trash Kit. Their songs once succinct, patchwork post-punk numbers of an honest diary-like nature now tussle more with long-form songwriting, expeditious polyphony and cascades of sung-spoke vocals. This new focus began with their last album ‘Confidence’ (2014) and has now grown into something exhilarating and rapturous.

New songs like ‘Disco’ have had their very fabric stretched into smart new shapes, allowing the band to run away with refrains and unlock the dancefloor. Although Trash Kit have their forebears in bands like Sleater Kinney, The Ex and The Raincoats, their sound is still very much their own take on facing forwards and relies as much on the naturalism of an internalised folk music as on their sincerity of vision.

They make their most majestic move yet with their resoundingly huge “Horizon” album. For this album, carefully crafted through years of playing out live, the band have chased down the distance between what they wanted the record to sound like and its realisation. They’ve augmented these songs with choral arrangements, piano, saxophone, harp, viola and cello. Pulling ideas from everywhere between the earth and sky, to push themselves further, to go beyond. Aggs‘ guitar playing for this album was informed by her love of guitar music from Zimbabwe, her cyclical motifs billow with lean Mbira rhythms. Horwood has similarly approached her drumkit with an untamable freedom, allowing it to breathe as a vivid lead instrument. Trash Kit’s music is woven with silence and punctuation, and this is where the resonant, driving bass of Partington fits in. The bass has become now central to shaping the melody of this new collection of songs.

‘Horizon’ by Trash Kit, taken from their forthcoming album ‘Horizon’. Released through Upset The Rhythm on LP. CD and digitally on July 5th.

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This week releases include First Aid Kit’s newest outing, with swooning folky rock refrains, sliding guitars and beautiful two-part harmonies abound. Speaking of folky rocking guitars, yer’ man Ryan Adams has produced the debut outing from frankly terrifying youngsters, Starcrawler. they’re terrifically talented, and they trade in very concise and punky indie-rock territory. Great stuff. What else? Well, lots of stuff. the new Liminanas LP is out and again, superbly reminiscent of their earlier work whilst bringing things up to date. New (reversed) Shins, and reissues from The Residents,

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The Limiñanas – Shadow People

French psych duo The Limiñanas have announced their new album ‘Shadow People’ which will be released on 19th January on Because Music. One of France’s most beloved treasures, The Limiñanas are Marie (drums/vocals) and Lionel (guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals). Hailing from Perpignan, the duo straddles the boundary between psych, shoegaze, and yé-yé. With hazy, reverb-laden hooks, combined at times with noisy distortion, and fronted by effortlessly cool vocals, reminiscent of Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot, the band is at once timeless and quintessentially French.

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The Shins –  The Worms Heart

When James Mercer was recording his latest Shins LP Heart Worms as a creative exercise he decided to re-record the songs in the opposite way of the originals. Songs that were more rock and uptempo became more acoustic and slow, and songs that were acoustic and slow in tempo became more upbeat. They were flipped. The result of those sessions he calls, The Worms Heart. What began as an exercise in songwriting transformed into a commentary on what it means to be a songwriter. After writing the first track for Heartworms (released 10 March 2017), James Mercer decided to recreate each song from scratch. Driven by its malleability, its ability to be foundationally identical, yet aesthetically and sonically utterly new, Mercer continued experimenting until he had two complete albums: one original and one “flipped”. Mercer’s ability to create two totally divergent albums from the same underlying compositions not only highlights his immense capability as a songwriter, but also functions as a reminder of what it means to be an artist, how an artist acts as both the master and facilitator of his artistic product.

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Shopping  –  The Official Body

Their first release since 2015’s Why Choose and their second album to be released on FatCat Records, Post-Punk trio Shopping return with an album that fans of their earlier records will undoubtedly find satisfying. Recorded over 10 days by Edwyn Collins, the latest album stays true to the minimal dance-punk ethos of Shopping’s previous efforts, but seeks to”amp up the party vibe”.

Coming off the back of an unrelenting cycle of touring, having made their way across the UK, Europe, and the US, the band found themselves without a natural home as the band’s London rehearsal and writing space closed down. Then their drummer, Andrew Milk, relocated to Glasgow, and the band could suddenly no longer spontaneously get together to practice or write. The distance added an element of pressure: “As a band that only ever writes collaboratively, it’s essential for us to actually be together in the room before any songs start to formulate. It can be a little daunting when we all turn up, and we only have an afternoon to pull a song out of thin air”. Add to that a sprinkling of Brexit, Trump, a principally imploding world, and you’ve got yourself The Official Body— Shopping’s second album to be released on FatCat Records.

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First Aid Kit  –  Ruins

Swedish siblings Klara & Johanna Soderberg, release their eagerly anticipated new album “Ruins” via Columbia Records. This will be the girls’ 4th studio album & a follow up to the critically acclaimed breakthrough album “Stay Gold”, released in 2014. “Ruins” is a 10 song album, recorded in Portland, USA & produced by Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Laura Veirs). Collaborators include Peter Buck (REM), Glenn Kotche (Wilco) & McKenzie Smith (Midlake).

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Starcrawler  –  Starcrawler

Starcrawler are a Los Angeles rock band who formed in 2015 when 18-year-old lead vocalist Arrow de Wilde first met guitarist Henri Cash at their Echo Park high school. Shortly thereafter they were joined by the rhythm section of Austin Smith (drums) and Tim Franco (bass). The foursome play with squalling riffs and thundering beats, and their incendiary live shows, fronted by de Wilde’s otherworldly magnetism, are truly captivating. Gigwise (UK) recently stated that “Starcrawler are simply the most exciting – and best – band Rough Trade have signed in years.”

Recorded by Ryan Adams on analog tape at his Pax-Am studio, the 10 songs on the album prove that yes, they ARE making rock and roll exciting again! Ryan has been tweeting up a storm about them saying things like “This starcrawler record is gonna peel the paint off your brain!” and “Starcrawler are so fucking insanely good. Soon they will rule this galaxy.”

The first single from the album is “I Love LA” and the video, directed by famed music photographer Autumn de Wilde (AKA Arrow’s mum) is a fun and feisty homage to the city of dreamers

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After signing to Rough Trade earlier this year, they quickly released their debut single “Ants”, which caught the ear of Elton John who played the track on his Beats 1 radio show. Soon after, they were on the cover of LA Weekly – their hometown paper. The headline was “With Fake Blood and Frenetic Songs, Starcrawler make rock feel dangerous again”. In the article, Arrow describes that “bands are boring nowadays” and that “there’s no mystery”. That helps explain a little bit of why their shows have become the stuff of legend. They also recently played LA’s CalJam Festival, which is curated by Dave Grohl (Starcrawler was the first band he reached out to, and he raved about them the next day on KROQ.) Gerard Way is also a fan, describing them as a “mix of 70’s theatricality and Stooges electricity.

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Fleetwood Mac  –  Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac reissue their 1975 eponymous album. This album was the first of the most successful incarnation of Fleetwood Mac, where Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Christine McVie to form the legendary band who continues to be highly successful to this day. The album introduced a smoother more radio-friendly sound and a new beginning and by 1977 the emotional monolith of Rumours would make them one of the biggest bands on the planet.

CD – Newly remastered version.

2CD – Expanded edition. The first CD features the original album with newly remastered audio, as well as single mixes of Over My Head, Rhiannon, Say You Love Me and Blue Letter. CD2 features an alternate version of the album comprised of unreleased outtakes for each track, as well as previously unreleased live versions from 1976.

5CD – Deluxe 3 CD / 1 DVD and 1 LP Set. Comes packaged in a 12×12 embossed sleeve with rare and unseen photos along with in-depth liner notes written by David Wild, as well as new interviews with all the band members. The deluxe editions features a newly remastered version of the original album along with single mixes for Over My Head, Rhiannon and Say You Love Me. Also included is a second disc with an alternate version of the complete album comprised of unreleased outtakes for each album track, plus several unreleased live performances from 1976. The third disc includes even more unreleased live recordings, including stellar performances of Landslide, Oh Well and World Turning. Also included in the deluxe edition set is the original album pressed on 180-gram vinyl, as well as a DVD featuring 5.1 Surround Sound and high-resolution 24/96 Stereo Audio mixes of the original album and four single mixes.

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The XX  –  On Hold (Jamie XX Remix) / A Violent Noise (Four Tet Remix)

Limited 12″ featuring Jamie’s own Remix of On Hold. It’s comes across like Daft Punk dropping Homework on a Ibiza terrace. Four Tet is on the flip with a fresh re-rub of A Violent Noise. Mr Hebden takes the track to Berghain and drops it at 4am.

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Moon Duo  –  Jukebox Babe / No Fun

Following the resounding success of their two-volume, Yin-and-Yang song cycle Occult Architecture, the Portland psych heroes in Moon Duo return with a limited edition 12″ paying tribute to two of their musical heroes — Iggy Pop and Alan Vega. Moon Duo’s versions of these classic songs push them into bold new sonic territory, and show that Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada’s expansive musical imaginations are still firing on all cylinders.“We started playing No Fun after BBC6 Radio asked us to record an Iggy song for his 70th birthday. We added it to our set to work it out for the session and kept playing it every night because everyone loves that song. We worked up a version of Jukebox Babe because our sound engineer Larry got it stuck in his head and was singing it all the time. We figured, we may as well play it if we’re going to hear it all the time. The Stooges and Iggy, and Suicide / Alan Vega / Martin Rev, are all huge influences on us. But we never want to do faithful covers of great songs, because what’s the point? So we tried to push both of the tracks in less obvious directions, incorporating other influences, like California psych and cosmic disco, giving them more of a summer vibe. We knew Sonic Boom was working outside of Lisbon, so we asked him to produce the tracks, recording them in August for maximal summer heat.”

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Slothrust  – Show Me How You Want It To Be EP

A collection of unexpected and inventive takes on classics by icons as diverse as Al Green and Britney Spears, Marcy Playground and Louis Armstrong. Led by guitarist and vocalist Leah Wellbaum, with bassist Kyle Bann and drummer WiIl Gorin, Slothrust form one of the most exciting and agile trios in recent memory. The selections on Show Me How You Want It To Be showcase the diverse and discerning musicianship that has earned Slothrust an army of admirers that first began building with their song 7:30 AM, featured as the theme song for 4 seasons of the FX Network show You’re The Worst.

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Belle and Sebastian  –  How To Solve Our Human Problems (Part 2)

Harkening back to their 1997 release of three consecutive EPs (Dog On Wheels, Lazy Line Painter Janeand 3.. 6.. 9 Seconds Of Light), Belle and Sebastian release three new EPs under the umbrella title How To Solve Our Human ProblemsJust as those three early EPs are at the very heart of the Belle and Sebastian canon, so these three new releases deserve to be treated not as a stopgap, but as definitive releases in their own right. How To Solve Our Human Problems is both an era of its own, and part of a long, rich history. How To Solve Our Human Problems is, if you like, Belle and Sebastian Redux.

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London trio Shopping have been steadily if quietly making a name for themselves on the strength of two albums of taut, agitated, yet catchy post-punk in the vein of The Raincoats, The Slits and Au Pairs (or more recent groups like Erase Errata). There’s nothing overtly moody or dramatic about what they do, which is a refreshing thing to hear amid a good solid 15 years of Unknown Pleasures worship. Early single “The Hype” is proof that their less-is-more approach is not only effective, but memorable, with rhythms and hooks that hold up well on repeat listens. We’re in an age ripe for some system-upsetting post-punk, it might as well groove too.

Shopping follows up 2015’s Why Choose with The Official Body, a play on words referencing institutional bodies of government as well as the limited selection of physical bodies that are deemed “acceptable” by the general society. It’s a fitting metaphor for a band whose stark, jagged, dance-punk sounds like a giant middle finger to the established order, and whose status as a band fronted by a queer woman of color is in itself a political stand.

The 10 tracks here are audacious, funky, and have that element of outsider-cool leftover from the heyday of influences like Delta 5, Gang of Four and ESG. Opening cut “The Hype” is lean, danceable and hi-hat heavy, the funky-fresh bass line and stuttering guitar enough to get anyone in possession of a nervous system out on the floor.

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An English post-punk trio that sound like they’ve flown a Back to the Future DeLorean straight out of the late-’70s and into the Rough Trade C86 catalog. Finger-picked guitar melodies and jittery bass and percussion own their debut album, “Consumer Complaints”, which Fat Cat Records reissued
Sounds a little like if the Raincoats played a joint show with the Feelies, then convinced Electrelane to reunite.
While you wait for their LP to resurface (the original came out in 2013 on London’s MÏLK Records), you can listen to the convulsing single “In Other Words”. At live shows, Shopping is boundlessly energetic. Musically, as on their upbeat 2015 album Why Choose, they’re sparse but distinctive, with fast drums, catchy hooks, and a post-punk strut.

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Taken from forthcoming 7″ inch single “In Other Words” b/w “You Are A Sort (Don’t Call Me)” out June 10th on MÏLK Records

I don’t often utter the word “shopping” in our house, Shopping is this great little, post-punk band from London who in 2013 released an awesome album,”Consumer Complaints”,

Shopping‘s debut album is fantastic, and it’s receiving a special re-issuing by FatCat Records in advance of the trio’s latest new album .”Consumer Complaints is a quick compilation of 13 songs (runs a little over 30 minutes). It’s not the blaring post-punk you would hear in bands like Metz or maybe Death From Above, but instead the songs have a midtempo pace and some of them are melodic even a tad funky and groovy.

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The combination of the latter two bands can be heard on the droning “Hard As Nails” and the infectious “Moyet’s Voice”.  Meanwhile, the playful “We Say You Pay”, “Get Going”, and “Right Now” echo of the punk-industrial sounds of 1970s Manchester. There’s also a touch of Sleater-Kinney’s grrrl riot movement in “Long Way Home”, where even frontwoman Rachel Aggs’ voice channels Carrie Brownstein.

Lyrically, there is repetition in some of the tracks, such as the catchy closer “Theme”, but that’s part of the appeal of Shopping. The repetitiveness doesn’t sound redundant but instead acts like another part of the band’s arrangements, especially when all three members of the band get in on the act. It’s a clever device concocted by the DIYers from East London. Shopping are upbeat, rhythmic, and queer-positive. Protest, particularly against capitalism, runs through their music, as “For Your Money” on their 2013 LP Customer Complaints attests (I had a job/ Yeah it nearly killed me). Queer pride is, and should always be, tied up with critique of social hegemony, so it’s exciting to see a band like this one whose queerness is linked with other forms of dissent. At live shows, Shopping is boundlessly energetic.

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Shopping are Billy Easter (bass), Andrew Milk (drums), and Rachel Aggs (lead vocals, guitar). The album can be purchased now .

It’s one thing to play post-punk. It’s another thing to play post-punk with all the nervous, jittery, excited energy that made the late-’70s and early-’80s originators of the genre resonate so deeply. It’s hard to talk about this trio without mentioning the Raincoats or the Slits or the Delta 5, and while that might not say great things about their originality, it’s a great thing regardless. On their big-leap sophomore album Why Choose, Shopping play with a raw urgency that the past few generations of revivalists have mostly lacked, and their mocking hopscotch melodies just sing

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SHOPPING – ” Take It Outside “

Posted: October 22, 2015 in MUSIC
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Among the post-punk revivalists cluttering the underground rock landscape of 2015, few are as fun — or seem to be having as much fun — as  upcoming British trio Shopping. Their revived ’79 to ’82 isn’t a place of dour industrial landscapes and overcast, desolate seasides, but instead the coolest basement dance club in the U.K., where those fed up with the powers that be can assemble to shake that fascist groove thang. So why they’re not bigger yet As good a time as they have invoking their Thatcher-era heroes, the band has yet to forge much of a musical signature of their own. Finest Moment  The work-out punk-funk of “Take It Outside,” from this year’s Why Choose

SHOPPING – ” In Other Words “

Posted: October 22, 2015 in MUSIC
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British rock act Shopping perform at Cake Shop during CMJ.

Shopping are the muscular musical children of vital ’70s political punk bands Gang of Four, Delta 5 and The Slits. Having had the fortune of seeing all those bands back in the day, I can say that Shopping are every bit as good as their predecessors. The members of this East London trio trade vocals void of the usual love and self pity and filled with observations and critique of culture. A must see. Their live show trumps the recordings.

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