Following on the success of their two previous albums for FatCat, which were praised on both sides of the pond as "breakneck, open-eared, positivist post-punk canter" (NME) and "direct, smart, catchy, and extremely punk" (Pitchfork) - the band returns to shake some asses with an agenda yet again. The album was produced by Edwyn Collins (Orange Juice) at his studio in Helmsdale, Scotland, who brought his taut post-punk ear to the Shopping’s acclaimed evolution of brittle '70s polti-punk.
If the band's approach was prescient in the past, our current political landscape renders them ever more indicative of the restlessness of youth's current dilemma. The band manages to walk the razor thin line between inspiring euphoric dance and shouldering societal anxiety. They face down gender politics and environmental peril ("Suddenly Gone"), breakdown social media as both a vital emotional mask and conduit of spirit ("Wild Child"). The Official Body stays true to the minimal dance-punk ethos of Shopping’s previous releases, fans of which will undoubtedly find this logical unfolding of their musical approach thoroughly satisfying.
Shopping's debut album Consumer Complaints drew a flurry of press for their spot on divining of post-punk's driving force, dubbing them as a "band you need to hear" by NME and "Artist To Watch" by SPIN. The band evokes revered touchstones The Slits, Delta 5, Gang of Four and ESG, though as Pitchfork reminds, "they never sound particularly dated or like a carbon-copy, a testament to the group's songwriting abilities." Rather, they embody the spirit of experimentation, social upheaval, (without becoming didactic) clashing gender politics and ethical change that defined their 70's counterparts and still ring true today.
The band teams up again with Jamie Grier, who mixed and mastered their first LP, this time placing Grier in the recording chair at Glasgow's Green Door Studios, while mastering duties fall to Alan Douches. The album is full of the same timeless spark that drove the debut, propelled by Billy Easter's toothsome bass lines and Rachel Aggs' jagged yet rubbery guitar. All three band members lend their voices to Why Choose, pushing and pulling between Aggs' knife hilt yelps and drummer Andrew Milk's steadied responses, giving heft to the anxious energy of tracks like "Straight Lines" and brevity to the detached cool of "Passing Through" and "Private Party."
Shopping are propulsive basslines, primitive disco-not-disco drums and guitar lines sharp as broken glass. The band was formed in 2012 by members Rachel Aggs (guitar), Billy Easter (bass) and Andrew Milk (drums), who've all done time in a plethora of notable UK DIY bands including Trash Kit and Wet Dog. They pull from a well of 70's post-punk with a voraciousness seldom seen these days, bringing to mind the jagged aggression of Gang of Four, the voracious yelp of The Slits and the dance inducing thrust of Delta 5 and ESG.
The band released a 7-inch single shortly after forming, which sold out within a week. The band's self-released debut LP, put out via their own MILK records in the UK has received whole-hearted acclaim, selling out their 1000 piece run in just a few months by hand delivering them to top-tier UK shops, who couldn't seem to get enough of their groove riding, tough talking, life-loving post-punk funk. Now the band have signed on to FatCat, with a new LP on the way later in 2015 and to introduce the band stateside we're making their self-released album available here for the first time.