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Shame - 'Songs of Praise' - Album Review

From practicing at a pub in Brixton to selling out shows across the country, Shame have proved their worth in the past three years.

Originating from the same place as amazing bands such as Fat White Families and INHEAVEN, the young South Londoners began to arrive on the scene when releasing their debut single The Lick/Gold Hole in 2016.

In 2017 they were signed by Dead Oceans and kept stunning fans with singles that gained them status in the music industry, such as Visa Vulture, a song inspired by Theresa May’s stance on immigration.

Their debut album ‘Songs of Praise’ was released earlier this month and thrashed those around them, being described as ‘utterly invigorating’ by NME and gaining 5 stars by magazines such as DIY and Dork.

Songs of Praise kicks off with the intimidating Dust on Trial, with the deep vocals of Charlie Steen making the listener catch every word. The lingering outro causes goosebumps and builds up until the guitar and drums escalate to a gentle crescendo, showing the variety of the band in just one song.

Their inspiration by the Fall can be seen in the track The Lick, with the bass repetition of Josh Finerty keeping the beat of the song and the clear spoken word keeping the listener on their toes. The story told by Steen reveals the constant questioning of the band, as shown in Concrete, as well as the need for something we can touch, and feel, something relatable not debateable.

Tracks such as Tasteless and Friction uphold the fast and reckless style of Shame and make you die to see it live. Stage presence can be heard, and you can just tell it’ll be a wild performance that you’ll remember for a lifetime, and maybe cause a bruise or two by dancing too hard.

Angie ends the album on a majestic high with the golden guitar instrumental building up throughout. It truly is a beautiful listen after the rough vocals turning to soft and the screeching guitar and smashing symbols coming into a triumphant harmony.

A highlight of the album is the song Gold Hole, a revamped single that shows the change Shame have created over two years. Echoing guitar riffs begin the track in a clanging manner that only emphasis the grittiness of the lyrics. Steen’s snarky commentary reminisces the tale of a women being seduced with money and as wrong as it is, it makes for a great listen; ‘She wants the money, it comes with his cream, so she closes her eyes and pretends it's a dream.’

Overall, Songs of Praise is thee definition of a perfect debut album, which is throwing Shame into the world in a glorious fashion. The bold 5-piece band do not disappoint and only build excitement for what is to come. To see an evolution based off tracks such as Friction and Tasteless only holds greater things for Shame and their fans.

Shame will be performing in Manchester at Gorilla on the 13th of April this year, so grab tickets quickly as they are beginning to sell out everywhere!

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