I always wanted to name a band after some sort of action, or perhaps a really cool song by the British punk legends the Slits. Pacific Northwest combo Shoplifting have beat me to it, after releasing a self-titled EP in back in 2004, they’ve returned with a rocking full-length debut. Featuring members of Chromatics and the Spores, Shoplifting are masters of producing unconventional, extravagant music. Consistently new and refreshing, it’s frequently rough around the edges, combining punk and noise rock, with a hint of old-fashioned rock n’ roll. Smash up the conventions of all three genres, and when you tape them back together, you get Shoplifting.
I quite like the band Shoplifting, and they’re quite good at what they do, being punk rock superheroes in their mighty approach. Yet, their debut doesn’t quite live up to the promise of their initial EP. Songs on the album are good, such as “Male Gynecology,” and some are real good, like “Talk Of The Town,” “Untrust/Trust” and “What About A Word.” Some, like “Cover To Cover,” however, don’t quite have the spark of the others and tend to get lost in the shuffle. Rather than building up to a riveting climax, the album is oddly sequenced, like a mix tape of random songs.
It is hard for me not to compare Shoplifting’s two separate releases against one another. But, because their EP was so great, I couldn’t help but expect the same from the full length. If one plans on delving into Shoplifting’s noisy punk rock, my advice is to start with their first release.
I like this album, but I’m not quite sure I’m love with it. I look forward to hearing future albums from the group. And I feel that the band certainly has the potential to continue to dazzle and amaze me. In the meantime, there’s enough great material on Body Stories to keep me occupied.
Mocket – Pro-Forma
Unwound – Fake Train
Satisfact – The Third Meeting at the Third Counter