Release Date: Feb 7, 2020
Record label: FatCat Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival
The fourth album from Shopping - comprising members of Trash Kit, Sacred Paws, Current Affairs and Wet Dog - is another impressive collection of spiralling, high-energy dance-punk. Though here, the rougher edges of 2018's 'The Official Body' have been smoothed over with a cleaner-cut production courtesy of US-based producer Davey Warsop, and enhanced with a newfound appreciation for classic '80s synth-pop: the heavy, dystopian keyboards driving the darkened discos of 'Follow Me', 'For Your Pleasure' and 'Lies' sound like nothing else produced in Shopping's seven-year existence. And yet, these departures aside, all in all, it's steady business as usual.
The members of Shopping would be ideal candidates for fitness instructors. On their three albums to date, the U.K. disco-punk trio have proven themselves more than qualified for the job: Their music is all sweat and swagger, a breathless regimen of pulse-pounding rhythm and hectoring directives that both berate you into thinking you're not doing enough while inspiring you to do better.
Shopping has such a clearly defined sound -- spiky melodies, spring-loaded basslines, rhythms that just won't quit -- that small changes make a big impact. While All or Nothing continues the move toward a more polished style that Rachel Aggs, Billy Easter, and Andrew Milk began with The Official Body, the two albums couldn't be more different. Arriving in the gloomy climate of the late 2010s, Body rejected the era's pessimism with brisk beats and heartfelt songs that generated light and warmth.
I nvigorating vim is the calling card of British post-punk trio Shopping, whose sound across any of their three albums to date would slot neatly into an indie DJ set from the mid-00s, when the modern punk-funk of New Young Pony Club, Bloc Party or the DFA stable rubbed up against the OG likes of Delta 5, the Au Pairs and Gang of Four. The template is polished on their fourth record, more frenetic and kinetic than ever on the disco-pogoing Initiative and Follow Me, with its gnarly guitar effects. Whether you meet All Or Nothing with the same energy depends on your hunger for more of a style already so thoroughly revived; for an album whose songs champion agency and resistance, its sounds are somewhat off-the-shelf.