shame Songs of Praise (CD, £10.50)label: Dead Oceans
Shame thrive on confrontation. Whether it be the seething intensity crackling throughout debut album ‘Songs Of Praise’ or the adrenaline-pumping chaos that unfolds at Shame’s shows, it’s all fuelled by feeling. NPR’s Bob Boilen noted, “Of the 70 bands I saw at this year’s SXSW, the band Shame seemed to mean what they played more than any other.” Comprised of vocalist Charlie Steen, guitarists Sean Coyle-Smith and Eddie Green, bassist John Finerty and drummer Charlie Forbes, the London-based five-piece began as schoolboys. From the outset, Shame built the band up from a foundation of DIY ethos while citing The Fall and Wire among their biggest musical influences. Utilising both the grit and sincerity of that musical background, Shame carved out a niche in the South London music scene and then barrelled fearlessly into the angular, thrashing post punk that would go on to make up ‘Songs Of Praise’, their Dead Oceans debut. From ‘Gold Hole’, a tongue-in-cheek takedown of rock narcissism, to lead track ‘Concrete’ detailing the overwhelming moment of realising a relationship is doomed, to the frustrated ‘Tasteless’ taking aim at the monotony of people droning through their day-to-day, ‘Songs Of Praise’ never pauses to catch its breath.
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