There’s something about British / European post punk. I’m guessing it has something to do with the possibility that bands from across the Atlantic are less steeped than American bands in the country / blues tradition that morphed itself into rock and roll.
Savages proved earlier this year, on Silence Yourself, that the sounds of European post punk still have some bite in 2013. Similarly, London trio Shopping are set to release their own debut LP, Consumer Complaints, that combines all of post punk’s parts — like funk and Krautrock — with, maybe, a little surf into something that can hold the attention of 21st century listeners.
Short opening track “Any Answers,” in its one and a half minutes, contains all of the elements that make Consumer Complaints so interesting: the funky bassline, the upside-down-food-grade-plastic-bucket drumming, the stabbing, angular, trebly guitar, and Rachel Aggs’s wail / bellow of a vocal delivery. The surf rock feel comes through on single “In Other Words” and on “Moyets Voice.” Other tracks like “We Say You Pay” and “Right Now” drive their point home while riding a repetitive bassline.
So I’m reading back over that last paragraph, and I’m thinking that maybe descriptors like “upside-down-food-grade-plastic-bucket,” “stabbing, angular, trebly,” “wail / bellow” and “repetitive” could be taken the wrong way. To be clear, these are all good things here. They work together to take Shopping’s sound outside the world of traditional indie-pop hooks, while still giving your brain something to latch onto. Just listen to “Get Going” and feel yourself involuntarily bopping along faster and faster with the song.
There’s a primal, elemental quality to Consumer Complaints that will have you moving reflexively, involuntarily over the course of the whole record. It’s one of those cool things about music — whether it’s the forward momentum of a driving bassline or the familiarity of the twelve-bar blues. You hear it. It moves you, and — even if you’re not quite sure why — you know just what to do.
Consumer Complaints is due out on November 4th via London’s MÏLK records.