Shame – Songs of Praise Review


Praise to adolescent anger!
Dead Oceans, 2018
Purchase: Amazon

7.0 / 10

Shame have no shame or at least they don’t bullshit their listeners. The scrappy British five-piece of young’uns honed their craft at The Queen’s Head, a place where The Fat White Family regularly rehearsed. No doubt some of Fat White’s grimy talents rubbed off on the band. Shame’s members: Charlie Steen (vocals), Sean Coyle-Smith (guitar), Eddie Green (guitar), Charlie Forbes (drums) and Josh Finerty (bass) were able to use Fat White Family’s instruments and become a band. A band that would earn support slots for the Fat Whites and Warpaint. Not too much longer and the labels came knocking to give us Songs of Praise.

It’s a nice title; one that almost hides the distinction of Shame’s rowdy, vein-popping rock. But Shame ease you in fairly fast, sounding like a mix of Protomartyr and Single Mothers. Frontman Charlie Steen holds command with his wild performances. Hard to believe that he was ever insecure about getting in front of crowds. Still, he expresses just that on “One Rizla”. “I ain’t much to look at/ I ain’t much to hear/ But if you think I love you/ You got the wrong idea(r),” Steen sings. Although he may not think so, Steen is much to hear. Especially on “The Lick” where Steen screams, “Bathe me in blood and call it a christening.” The music obliges his maniacal demand with riff-roaring intensity. And all we can do is listen with our jaws dropped.

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