My favorite selection here is by far and away "Kowtow," with it's swarmy brew of ominous chords, warm rhythms, and Juan ‘Naux’ Maciel spoken/barely sung vox. Elsewhere, the dissonant but strangely infectious "Monkey Talk" and "If It's New" are well informed by Gang of Four’s funk inclinations. All four tracks here all turned up on an a recent web-only reissue of their catalog, 21 Puffs on the Cassette, which I happened to review for Big Takeover magazine a few years ago. Here are some excerpts:
Fueled with warbled-keyboards and funked-up rhythms, China Shop’s weirdo groove fell somewhere between art-damaged post-punk and utter amateurish capability. 21 tracks here absorb this generous retrospective, and just like snowflakes you never get two alike. This kooky crew took up a few semesters at the Gang of Four school of syncopation (dropping the Marxist rhetoric), loosened Wire’s stiff neckties, and took a page or two from Talking Heads, and funky stateside contemporaries The Big Boys, and even Prince. Some of the more promising moments like the appealing “Kowtow” and “Atlantis” could pass for no-wave classics from a parallel universe...
So sayeth I. Since the 21 Puffs... collection is still readily available for online purchase via the link above, if you enjoy what you hear consider plunking down a few dollars and support the band, albeit nearly three full decades after the fact.
01. Monkey Talk
02. Walk on Lightning
04. If It's New