There's a part of me that wanted to hate U.K. trio Shopping. I mean, who are they to create music so indebted to the pioneering sounds of The Slits and The Raincoats? That they adopt that worthy template and succeed so well when doing it speaks volumes to the talents of Billy Easter, Andrew Milk, and Rachel Aggs.
Consumer Complaints, out now on Fat-Cat Records, is a flawlessly assembled blending of those early post-punk legends with some nods in the direction of Le Tigre and the earlier riot grrl wave. But there's a certain lightness of touch in stuff like "In Other Words" that makes this music so infectious and so easy to enjoy. That's not to say anything about the intentions of Shopping but, rather, to say that the music never once comes across as strident, or too much of a tribute to earlier acts. It's safe to say that when you listen to Shopping you may be fooled into thinking that you are actually hearing a lost classic from 1979.
The wonderfully-titled "Moyet's Voice" rides in like a hopped up Young Marble Giants with vocals straight out of the Ari Up playbook. But it's not all Slits here as "Long Way Home" uses a rhythm that Gang of Four would have found wonderful.
Look, Shopping are not going to win any prizes for originality but that's okay 'cause this is music full of energy, pep, and vigor. Consumer Complaints doesn't waste anything and the tunes consistently charm. I can't say the same for very many new acts' debuts these days.
Consumer Complaints is out now. Follow Shopping on their official Facebook page.