Music

Shopping - "Straight Lines" (Singles Going Steady)

Musically the influences are transparent. Drummer Andrew Milk even wears a Gang of Four t-shirt in case anyone is in doubt.

Timothy Gabriele: Where were these folks during the ill-fated post-punk revival of the early '00s? Okay, so they were probably about 12 years old, but at least the kids are doing their jangle and their wiry with the proper urgency and ironic vocal contrast these days. They’ve studied, put down their number two pencils, and are nailing the job interview. I’m still not certain I’d cop to a whole album of this over just going back to the Slits, but for the moment I’m loving this -- the frenetic energy, the hummable hook, the impassioned dialogue between the two vocalists, and the people as exploited furniture vibe of the video. Sure, the book sleeve labelled “Indignation” in the video was a bit much, but we were all young once, weren’t we? [7/10]

Paul Duffus: Shopping should do more videos in this vein. It could be their trademark. They might even pioneer a new scene. We've had shoegaze, new wave of new wave, Britpop… well here comes arse-core. Arse after arse. So much arse. So much arse as furniture. It looks like a PG-13 version of Ed Gein's house.

Musically the influences are transparent. Drummer Andrew Milk even wears a Gang of Four t-shirt in case anyone is in doubt. However there's something in the detail of those skittering guitar-lines and overlapping vocals that suggests that Shopping might be more than just copyists or post-punk fetishists. In an antithetical twist their home-brew of the old and the obvious is not just unrockist but somehow thoroughly refreshing. [8/10]

Dustin Ragucos: Oh, boy! It's really something when a song reminds me of the Violent Femmes and then brings me to nostalgic hits of their self-titled record. "Straight Lines" has chipper strings alongside vocals that feel hashed out from someone's karaoke session, if the person was talking to friends and forgot their track pick was still on. [5/10]

Ed Whitelock: Definitely hearing sonic echoes of Gang of Four, amplified by the dehumanizing and mundane video: At home he feels like a torturist. [7/10]

Kevin Korber: The male-female vocal dynamic does something to liven this up, but it can’t change the fact that this band has existed in some shape or form way too many times. Last I checked, we didn’t need a weaker-sounding version of Gang of Four. [4/10]

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