Shopping - The Official Body
The Official Body
There is something about Shopping's post punk mentality that at times is highly endearing while at others frustrating and monotonous. The UK band's sound falls somewhere between punk and surf rock a trand that has been creeping into this scene more and more. While some people went big with electropop and dance numbers other more "band" centric artists shifted more towards older school sounds. Honestly I don't think surf rock is ever going to be the sound of a summer ever again, because it just feels way to dated. That guitar sound is so directly linked in with surf rock that anything else you do is going to be sucked straight back into that vibe. Even on the songs with some more musical depth like "Discover" the guitar always brings you right back around. It just doesn't seem like that reverb is really giving you anything in terms of excitement. The album just sort of goes along with this idea that the frantic nature of it will be the driving force and not the surf vibe, but you can't get away from it and it's hard to focus on damn near anything else as it blazes along. The pacing though is simply fantastic really hitting the peaks of a song hard and then getting the hell out. It's only 31 minutes but it feels even faster barely giving you a chance to breath or take it in before The Official Body fades away.
The drums provide this constant beat that is mostly unchanging and always pounding away at 4x4 time but in being so consistent it feels like it looses some of the creativity it could have. You have your bass drum, your snare and high hat, but barely any fills in between. Shopping are doing something here but it in no way feels fresh or vibrant, we've heard all this before despite some new pacing. You can imagine this energy really transferring to a live show, but it does not shine in the album version. You are left wanting more, more aggression, more power and less reliance on the sounds of yore. The Official Body is not a bad album it just never full engages to the point you would like. It sounds fine, but that's just it, it's only fine not something you want to hear ads the description for your new record. I will allow for the fact that I just don't really like surf rock to be the reason for this lower score, but hey it's my blog.
6.0 out of 10