SHAME – ” Lampoon “

Posted: February 28, 2018 in MUSIC
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Shame thrives on confrontation. Whether it be the seething intensity crackling throughout their debut LP “Songs of Praise” or the adrenaline-pumping chaos that unfolds at Shame’s live shows,  “Of the 70 bands I saw at this year’s festivals 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 school boys. From the outset, Shame built the band up from a foundation of DIY ethos while citing The Fall and Wire among its biggest musical influences.

Utilizing both the grit and sincerity of that musical background, Shame carved out a niche in the South London music scene and then barreled fearlessly into the angular, thrashing post-punk that would go on to make up Songs of Praise, their Dead Ocean Records debut.  Think tightly wound, jittery guitars, mile-a-minute hi-hat and an exquisite bleakness from “Gold Hole,” a tongue-in-cheek takedown of rock narcissism, to lead single “Concrete” a song about an unhappy relationship that will have you beating on your steering wheel, It embodies this sound perfectly and already gives us hope for the best of  2018. The song detailing the overwhelming moment of realizing 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.

Songs of Praise, the debut record from South London post punk titans Shame, couldn’t have received a better response on its release in January. Lauded for their political, sometimes aggressive and always lively punk-blues, Shame are riding high on their success, but trying to keep level headed. “We try to walk the tightrope between praising ourselves and degrading ourselves, because we don’t want to lean too far either side. We’re just enjoying the flame while it flickers!” says singer and lyricist Charlie Steen.

Steen is full of ideas, quick to laugh and with an anecdote fit for every occasion. So it’s unsurprising that he’s a lyricist, eager to put a story to everything and with the sharp wit required to make every story enticing. For Steen, the key to a good song is a gripping narrative, Bob Dylan and Squeeze rank highly on his list of music’s best storytellers and are among many of the musicians he first heard via his parents’ record collection.


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