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Album review: Shopping – The Official Body


The UK post-punk trio Shopping refine their sound and deliver a standout record within an overpopulated and fatigued genre with The Official Body. They are frustrated, cynical, and having more fun than ever. Each track is tightly arranged around surf-rock guitar riffs, pounding anthemic tempos and funky bass lines. The album demands movement, both physically and socially.

Led by guitarist/vocalist Rachel Aggs, Shopping fears no topic. The Official Body tackles LGBT rights, highlights racial tensions, and demands listeners to question what they perceive to be the norm. “This is such a simple thing/You don’t like me, I don’t look like you/Maybe it’s the way I talk/I speak clearly, should I simplify?/ It’s funny ‘cause you know it’s true.” It’s clear that Aggs’ accusatory tone on “My Dad’s a Dancer” comes from a place of genuine irritation, and anyone listening can’t help but be mad with her.

Their genre is exasperated, which makes the feat of producing a unique and fresh post-punk album all the more impressive. Like a lot of indie genres, post-punk has been dominated by angry white dudes for too long. Shopping is an example of how a new voice and perspective can reinvigorate an entire musical style.

— johnr.wheeler@yahoo.com

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