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All Or Nothing is the fourth album from skewed-indie faves Shopping. With the band these days split between Glasgow and LA, All Or Nothing was captured during a single intensive two-week session. Shopping are synonymous with a danceable post-punk Flying Lizards style getup, demonstrated perfectly again on lead single ‘Initiative’ – only this time there is more of a personal footprint to the album, with band members experiencing change and heartbreak since the last record, 2018’s The Official Body. Shopping features Rachel Aggs, notably also of Trash Kit and Sacred Paws.
Released: February 2020 Cat: FATLP157 Label: Fat Cat
1.Trust In Us 2.Initiative 3.Follow Me 4.No Apologies 5.For Your Pleasure 6.About You 7.Lies 8.Expert Advice 9.Body Clock 10.All or Nothing
Shopping have enough tightly wound guitar lines to keep me convinced.
Are we defined by who we are, or what we do? This is the question at the forefront of Shopping’s minds on All Or Nothing, an album preoccupied by the tensions that arise between people and their behaviour. This LP comes as the fourth from the post-punk trio, and represents a departure from the chaotic energy of previous outings. This is post-punk with all the air sucked out- guitar lines that would dive into distortion elsewhere remain crystal clear here. There’s more than a dash of DFA Records; Shopping have far more of a pop sensibility than many other bands operating in the same space, but seem unaware of the hooks that they present. They never set out to make an earworm - rather, they tie themselves in knots with riffs, and just happen to stumble across one.
All Or Nothing begins with a guitar line straight out of the Joy Division playbook, but far from the swirling darkness, the production here is almost clinical. Rachel Aggs introduces us to the spoken delivery that dominates the tracklist, reminding of Dry Cleaning’s Florence Shaw. Her measured tone is the perfect complement to the kineticism, and there are oblique references to gender politics. Elsewhere, the lyrics deal with performance and failure- this is an album about what happens when you push people to the edge.
This is a very consistent record- tracks rise and fall, but each song has the same sturdy foundations. Shopping are frenetic, sure, but they don’t deal in chaos. For me the real question is how much lasting these songs can be when they’re this measured, this precise? After all, we’ve heard most of these elements before- none of this post-punk toolbox is new. But, for now, Shopping have enough tightly wound guitar lines to keep me convinced.