Published Oct 09, 2015On their second release, Why Choose, Shopping offer a pared-down, female-fronted take on Gang of Four. Bouncy and minimalist, the band pay homage to groove-and-shakeable post-punk from the late '70s and early '80s. They accomplish the off-the-cuff feel they set out for, driving their jerky songs home with youthful aloofness and a sense of style.
It's a modern, bare-bones take on an old approach; the issue is those bones could benefit from a bit more meat to flesh out the big moments here. Without a particularly new sound, Shopping need to add muscle to their songs, and there just isn't quite enough of that here. "No Show" brings Controller.Controller to mind and "Straight Lines" evokes early Bloc Party, but when compared to these and other post-punk revivalists, Shopping's less stimulating sound falls short.
What strong moments — the brief synth line on "Take it Outside" and the Pretty Girls Make Graves-esque "Say it Once" — adds loads of interest to the record, indicating that Shopping could benefit from fuller composition and/or production elements to help the band bulk up and flex their muscles a bit more. They have the potential. (Fat Cat)