Shopping – All or Nothing

Shopping add an electronic edge to their post-punk sound, offering a soundtrack for the frustrating times we live in

Album Review by Niamh Carey | 06 Feb 2020
  • Shopping – All or Nothing
Album title: All or Nothing
Artist: Shopping
Label: FatCat Records
Release date: 7 Feb

Nothing makes you want to boogie while reflecting on hyper-capitalism quite like Shopping. The London/Glasgow trio have been happily providing this service since 2012, and new record All or Nothing is a fresh slice of anti-establishment disco material.

Shopping’s last record, The Official Body, stayed true to the band’s tight, tense and funky take on minimal post-punk, with a palpable outrage at the world’s state of affairs. The record notably incorporated synth and drum machines into their guitar/bass/drum formula, which the trio have fleshed out in their new album.

All or Nothing marries Shopping’s steadfast energy with a humming electronic edge that never dominates their tried-and-tested sound. One track that does this particularly well is Follow Me, a paranoid lament with Kraftwerk-esque synth interventions that complement its anxious rhythms. Classic Shopping call-and-response vocals are deliberately distorted as Rachel Aggs and Andrew Milk describe the ‘CCTV looking for me’ and feel cameras ‘Watch me leaving / All eyes on me’. You’ll also find a touch of Kraftwerk in Lies, a track infused with sharp electronica that heightens a building sense of suspicion.

Despite these experiments, Shopping’s more traditional sound dominates most songs. Heavy with jangly guitar lines and plucky drums, Initiative is one of these tracks, but it also illustrates the difference a few synth chords can make in elevating the tension of a song; the chorus is fuller and more powerful as a result, highlighting the minimal sound of the rest of the track.

Seven years on from their first record, Shopping are still giving audacious levels of energy. It would be interesting to see the band develop their electronic experiments even further in their next album; though All or Nothing builds on its predecessor, it only gives us a taste of what the trio can do when left alone with a synth. Still, Shopping’s anti-consumerist jams are great as they are, providing us with a soundtrack for the frustrating times we live in.

Listen to: Follow Me, Lies, For Your Pleasure