Album #32: Shopping – All or Nothing

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: London, England
  • Label: FatCat
  • Best Track: Body Clock

Like Paris Saint-Germain in the French Ligue 1, there’s always a feeling that Shopping are a bit too good for what they’re playing. However, what they’re playing – minimal post-punk with a funky vibe – happens to be something I like a lot, so I’m never sure whether I really want them to try anything different.

The London/Glasgow trio released their fourth album today, and there’s perhaps a little more more of a reggae and dub influence than we’ve heard from them on previous albums, with more use of synth. All or Nothing is largely business as usual though, and for that reason it’s another strong album for this confident, skilled band.

Unusually for post-punk, the guitars in Shopping’s songs always sound bright, as if they’ve just changed their strings before every track. The title track opener makes this immediately apparent, with a nice rumble of bassy, synthy noise helping it out.

Lyrics are agitated and probing (“Why can’t you show some initiative”), in keeping with what you’d expect of their genre, and the album probably peaks with ‘Expert Advice’ and ‘Body Clock’, both offering fast-paced and intricate guitar work and drumming.

Critics repeatedly call for Shopping to “expand”, but I think that’s what their side projects like Rachel Aggs’ Trash Kit are for. They can keep doing what they do very well for all I care.

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