Friday, October 20, 2023

Shoplifters - Second Nature LP - Orange Vinyl (/250)


PopKid / Brassneck / Rad Girlfriend / Waterslide (2023) 

It’s been four years since PopKid records has had a release.  That’s a long time and I’m sure that it is obvious that the label isn’t something we’re able to make a huge focal point of our lives at this stage.  It’s expensive to do a record label and we don’t often sell too many records through a combination of many factors.  A key one is probably that we tend to want to work with bands from other lands.  Bands that often don’t have the ability to come to America to show the locals just how good they really are.  But this is where my heart is when it comes to music. 

It’s easy to look at the unsold records I have hanging around from past releases and not be enthusiastic about adding more to the pile.  But then a band like Shoplifters comes around. Shoplifters inspire me to get back in the game.  So here we are, PKE030 – Second Nature.  This is the third Shoplifters release on PopKid, following up on the Forgiver 7” and 2019’s Secret Free World LP.  Everything that made me love and get involved with those two prior records is still here.  This is a band that has somehow found the exact strain of melodic punk rock that I want to listen to. 

If you’ve read anything I’ve written about Shoplifters before, you’ll see I’m always mentioning Bob Mould, Snuff, Big Drill Car, Leatherface and the clearest comparison to me, China Drum.  It’s like they went into a lab to try to create the exact band that would appeal directly to me.  Second Nature is such a great album, and the band has really put together an incredible group of songs.  “Hungry Lions” has that perfect chugging guitar during the verse that makes the payoff in the chorus even more triumphant.  It’s probably my favorite song on the album, but there is some stiff competition. 

The vocal melody throughout the entirety of “The Ones” is so strong and catchy, it kind of makes the entire song feel like one big chorus.  The guitar work on “Braced for Fall” reminds me so much of The Last era Leatherface, with an ethereal vocal hook.  Then there’s the piano punctuated pop of “Do What You Want” with a singalong chorus that has been stuck in my head for months now.  Every song on the album is like this for me, they're just a perfect band.

Today is the album’s official release date and the entire thing is available to listen to on Bandcamp now. Please check it out and pick up a copy if you enjoy. 

Purchase the record from our webstore here: 

Purchase a specially priced bundle Shoplifters bundle that includes the Second Nature LP, the Secret Free World LP and the Forgiver 7": 

Buy the vinyl, bundle or digital version on our Bandcamp page here (and get instant mp3s):

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