CURRENTLY LISTENING: Tuff Noogies by Shopping

Kay, I’ll admit it, I’m a lurker these days, but with the best intentions. I’m just looking for good new music. And while the rest of the social mediasphere is celebrating yet another boring #TBT, I’m listening to Shopping’s new album that was released last week. From the get-go, the album seemed as young as the title made me feel. Tuff Noogies was definitely a throwback to playground taunts of second grade. Cue: little boys cheating one another at monkey bar leg-wrestling. I could hear that kind of playful annoyance running throughout the record, but it’s that same kind of egging-on that makes you want to listen to it again. “Drunk Billionaire Throws Party” gets your attention with all the right catchiness, yet, with all its stops and starts, can never be called traditional. “Step by Step” continues the party with more poppy guitars and clearer melodies, a sure win for that sing-along single at shows. Plus the lyrics speak to any creative person to a T—something we should all get down with. Hell, these are all the feels I feel right now. “4 Track Tape Hiss is Desire” marks a clever change in the album with softer, whispery melodies. Characterized by Gang of 4-ish guitars and snappy snare, “Bloody Toilet Paper” is actually pleasant in spite of its name. Something I could dance to, that’s for sure. Even better, “Know it Alls” brings out some of the band’s best sounds; sweeping guitar work that starts sweet and ends a little sour before launching into something altogether different. Complex and unique, the tune challenges the listener to stay with it. And when it ends, you’re glad you did. “Camelbacked” was easily my favorite track, though I was sensing I was better off not knowing the lyrics. Its haunting layered vocals reminded me of some of those first sounds from Liars, but again with a youthful silliness peeking from behind the doom and gloom. Super interesting. The final track, “Giant Healers” offers a nice instrumental wrap-up for the album. What’s refreshing about Shopping is that they don’t take themselves too seriously. They’re not afraid to try it all, yet they’re great musicians who know what nonsense fits where in order to make complete sense. And this one does, to me anyway. Listen for yourself: