Sunday, April 23, 2023


Joey, Norby, Jash, and Aaron — collectively known as The Smart Shoppers  — are back with their second full-length album, LEFTOVERS FROM TOMORROW. Their debut album, DORKWAVE, remains a criminally underrated work of art. I mean, come on: it practically invented a new genre of music! LEFTOVERS FROM TOMORROW carries on in a similar vein. It walks the very fine line separating punk rock and new wave without ever crossing all the way over on either side. It's dorky and catchy and wonderfully weird and super fun and (of course) smart. Yet it's not a mere repeat of its predecessor. On this release, The Smart Shoppers broaden their stylistic palette with a really nifty Cars knock-off ("Party Girl"), a wink and a nod to proper garage rock ("Slacks"), and a satisfying stab at thrashing pop-punk ("Big Love"). And even when the band sticks to familiar terrain, its elevates its previous songwriting on brilliant numbers like "Store" and "Simpin' USA." One could argue that "egg punk, garage punk, diy punk, diy music, diy record label, indie rock, indie, weird, Nerd Rock, - Looking Glass" is perhaps the best use of 47 seconds ever by a non-hardcore band. Joey Shops, as always, is the perfect vocalist for this kind of band  — capable of pulling off the dorky/weird approach in a way that's unique and genuinely not annoying. The band's sense of humor remains compatible with mine, manifesting itself mostly in sharp social commentary and a formidable commitment to song titles starting with the letter "S." I have to love a band that can write a song like "Sex Organisms" that flirts with being absolutely stupid but ends up being anything but. These guys are way better musicians and songwriters than they'd ever let on, and ultimately that's what makes them the Bart Starrs of the egg punk universe. If punky new wave and new wavey punk are your jam and you nonetheless ignored my previous recommendation to purchase DORKWAVE, you have another opportunity to be a smart shopper.

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