Much like their debut LP, the second effort from East London’s SHOPPING is a frenetic and angular foray in to the realms of pop-flecked post-punk, and unsurprisingly sees the band channelling the likes of Gang Of Four, ESG and The Slits.
That said however, Why Choose is very much its own beast, as are the band themselves. Tracks such as “I Have Decided” and “Why Wait” brim with a skittering and off-kilter personality that manifests itself in the form of rolling basslines and syncopated beats; the three-part vocals adding both depth and texture in what proves to be the perfect antidote to the missing rhythm guitar.
Though the band claim to just want to make music for people to dance to, (a feat they undoubtedly achieve here), there's a darker undercurrent that's belied by the record's pop sensibilities. And, much like their name suggests, the over-arching narrative is a sharp observation on the effect consumerism has had on modern society. That isn't to say the record is particularly socio-political, it's just that nestled between the grooves are wry examinations of the aforementioned, often only revealing themselves after several listens.
Unfortunately however, the majority of the record's stand-out moments are in the latter half, and with the exception of “Take It Outside”, the staccato guitars of much of the first six tracks begin to wear a little thin after several listens. Live, however, it's likely another story, and if SHOPPING's intentions really were just to make people dance, they've managed it all over again.