Posts Tagged ‘Shame’

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It’s hard to do Shame any justice by writing about their wild live shows. The way I can best summarize the aftermath of going to see Shame is that you’ll suddenly feel like you’ve been christened with the ability to perform some act of superhuman physical strength. Though the melodic, fervent post-punk of their debut album Songs of Praise needs no polite introduction, it’s not an angry “in your face,” it’s more like an “in your face” that’s beaming with happiness and with an overflowing passion that can’t be depleted. Their sweaty, bare-chested frontman Charlie Steen’s stamina and powerful presence is felt, but it’s not overbearing. He consistently reminds the crowd, “Smile! This is entertainment” while bassist Josh Finerty engages in a comical gymnastics routine and guitarist Sean Coyle-Smith embodies his guitar’s vigorous shredding with a similar vibrating fit of energy. By this point, Steen is an experienced crowd-surfer and as long as his motor is running, expect the unexpected at a Shame show.

Shame performing live in the KEXP studio. Recorded February 20th, 2018.

Songs: Dust On Trial Concrete One Rizla Friction The Lick

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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.

Homeless29 amyl cover hi res

Record of the week goes to Amyl & The Sniffers – I’m totally in love with this band. Good-time Australian punks, inspired by Sharpie culture and AC/DC riffs, its such a fun dumb record. I hope they come to the UK this year.

The best band Australia have to offer at the moment. Snarling, exciting and totally punk. If you love Australian 70’s style proto punk n’ roll look no further. Amyl and the Sniffers are a garage punk band who sing about biffs, blowjobs and Chiko rolls. They’re proudly sporting shitty tatts and they named their band after a seedy drug that provides a brief, intense euphoria, followed by a brutal headache – which may or may not be a metaphor. With the mullets, the aggression and the unflinching embrace of Australiana, Amyl and the Sniffers have been likened to the sharpie subculture of the ‘70s – a pre-punk movement that was birthed in Melbourne and characterised by ‘sharp’ outfits and that quintessential Aussie larrikin attitude. The soundtrack to this era was Australian boogie: bands like Skyhooks, The Coloured Balls and AC/DC. AMY says she and the boys are definitely influenced by that ‘70s Aussie rock, but lyrically, she’s also intrigued by the storytelling of country singers like Dolly Parton; she likes the cheek of a Southern woman in the 1960s singing about cheating on her husband.

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Shame –  Songs Of Praise

Shame thrives on confrontation. Whether it be the seething intensity crackling throughout debut LP Songs of Praise or the adrenaline-pumping chaos that unfolds at Shame’s shows, it’s all fueled 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 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 Oceans debut. From “Gold Hole,” a tongue-in-cheek takedown of rock narcissism, to lead single “Concrete” 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.

Produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave, Arcade Fire) and recorded at Sunset Sound Los Angeles over the past few years, the band have taken many unlikely twists and turns, yet have always remained focused on the music and returning again to edge of the stage. “It’s a crazy making machine, it can chew you up as fast as it spits you out. A few years back we literally toured till the wheels came off and Leah’s brain literally started leaking out of her head” says the band’s Robert Levon Been. “It catches up with you, I know I’ve battled on and off with my own depression, and Pete’s head never came with any proper instructions. So you just gotta keep pushing buttons to see what happens.”

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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club  –

‘Wrong Creatures’ returns to the core of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s alchemy, yet plunges the knife in even further. From the Cave-esque murder balladry of ‘Haunt’ to the garage punk of ‘Little Thing Gone Wild’, it runs the gamut allowing the band to flex every muscle in their armour. They remain opaque about the songs’ greater meanings, fearful of past misunderstandings. “I find myself writing about death a lot,” says Hayes. “I find myself having a discussion with death, which sounds dark. For me, it’s dark humor.” Talking about mortality allows Hayes to explore life’s great mistakes and regrets. Channelling them through rolling riffs and dirge-laden rhythms that stir the pot before reaching boiling point.

Ultimately, the band may well be survivors of an era where rock & roll can often be overshadowed by dance pop and garish commercialism. Robert Levon Been: “We are truly an island – come hell or high water, so it’s usually best to dress accordingly. Though I’m not sure what the proper attire is when drowning in fire. But leather usually goes with everything.”

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The Courtneys, The Courtneys

The Courtneys debut reissued again on limited edition blue vinyl. Vancouver three-piece The Courtneys’ excellent 2013 self-titled debut reissued and available again on Flying Nun Records. Consistently propelling itself forward this collection of eight songs are drenched in summer hooks propelled from fuzzed out guitars and creamy vocals that are both nonchalant and introspective. Not having enough money in your bank account, crushing on pizza delivery boys along with the subtle yet alluring charm of Keanu Reeves all occupy the three Courtney’s minds with lo-fi urgency which doesn’t outstay it’s welcome. It is clear to hear why The Courtneys’ felt at home in New Zealand when they first toured there in the summer of 2015 and joined the Flying Nun roster. Their commitment to the fine balance of pop and idiosyncratic indie guitar music finds lineage between The Clean, Look Blue Go Purple, The Bats while diving deeper into the fuzzy world of the likes of Bailerspace.

Radar Men From The Moon  –  

Following their recent collab LP with Gnod, under the Temple ov BBV pseudonym, Eindhoven art-punk collective RMFTM (fka Radar Men From The Moon) have announced the third and final instalment in their ‘Subversive’ album trilogy – ‘Subversive III: De Spelende Mens’, due for release December 1st on Fuzz Club Records. Influenced by the ground-breaking sonic industrialism of Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire and Coil, as well the transcendent kinetic rhythms of Neu!, Faust and Amon Duul II, ‘Subversive III: De Spelende Mens’ see’s their industrial art-punk take on it’s most incessant, angular and free-flowing form in a frenzy of metallic drones, thunderous feedback stabs of synths and throbbing, repetitive krautrock rhythms that at times border on techno territory. With the Subversive series, RMFTM have sought to deconstruct and rebuild their creative process, pushing themselves to the limit with each and every release and ‘Spelende De Mens’, translated as ‘the playing man’, is the perfect way to conclude the series.

Skids – Burning Cities

Back in 1979, Scottish group Skids released their seminal debut ‘Scared To Dance’, an equally abrasive but more intellectual continuation of punk, but also one of the albums that helped establish the UK’s post-punk sound. Having not released a record in nearly 37 years, ‘Burning Cities’ marks their long-overdue return. Both the band and the album benefit greatly from Killing Joke bassist Youth’s punchy production, which aids the group as they simultaneously explore contemporary rock and reprise some of their early-eighties sound. ‘Burning Cities’ is the comeback album that has propelled Skids right back into relevance, in a time when their high-energy anti-establishment songwriting will resonate more than ever.

There’s a good spread of new releases out . We’ve new albums from Shame (including a limited blue vinyl LP), Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Arrows Of Love, Skids and the ‘Stranger Things 2’ soundtrack has also showed up a week early, so get that limited splatter vinyl quick! Two nice 7″s out – we have a limited gold vinyl single from Otis Redding plus a just announced brand new 7″ from Jack White; released on his Third Man Records label, this is a limited single taken from his forthcoming album ‘Boarding House Reach’ that will be out later in the year. All this plus reissues from Lloyd Parks, The Ting Tings, the ‘Don’t Look Now’ soundtrack and, finally, The Stooges ‘Highlights From The Fun House Sessions’ that is very limited indeed.

Amyl & The Sniffers Big Attraction / Giddy Up – Homeless Records
King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard – Polydgondwannaland – Bear Tree Records (Indie Exclusive)
Little Bob & The Lollipops – Nobody But You – Mississippi Records
Shame – Songs Of Praise – Dead Oceans (Indie Exclusive)
Prettiest Eyes – Pools – Castle Face
Glass Candy – I Always Say Yes – Italians Do It Better (Coloured vinyl)
Penguin Cafe – The Red Book – Editions Penguin Cafe LTD
Heavy Metal – The Nietzschean Superman Of Dustbin Rock – Harbinger Sound
Toylettes – Toylettes – Harbinger Sound
Kanker Kommado – Low Tech – 1982-88 – Harbinger Sound
To Kill A King – The Spiritual Dark Place – These Are My Bones (Indie Exclusive)
Steve Ignorant’s Slice Of Life – Just Another 7″ – Harbinger Sound
Arrows Of Love – Product – I’m Not From London
Bronnt Industries Kapital – Arsenal – I Own You Records

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Shame thrives on confrontation. Whether it be the seething intensity crackling throughout debut LP Songs of Praise or the adrenaline-pumping chaos that unfolds at Shame’s shows, it’s all fuelled by feeling.

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 Oceans debut. From Gold Hole, a tongue-in-cheek takedown of rock narcissism, to lead single Concrete 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.

The notion, however, that a scrappy post-punk band may have to deal with old-school rock stardom isn’t as far-fetched as it seems. They’re as ferocious as their acknowledged inspirations the Fall; even when the guitars aren’t turned up to a jet roar, Steen’s furious sneer gives them urgency (“My voice ain’t the best you’ve heard / And you can choose to hate my words / But do I give a fuck?” he asks on One Rizla). Best of all, though, they have huge, anthemic tunes to go with the anger.

I think the idea of the leather jacket-wearing, womanising, drug-fuelled rock star should be burned,” says Charlie Steen, the 20-year-old singer of Shame, who are 2018’s angriest, shoutiest young British guitar band.

“Destroyed for ever,” says the 21-year-old drummer, Charlie Forbes. “But at the same time,” adds Sheen, “with a lot of people I’ve grown up loving, like Bowie or Iggy Pop, there’s an attraction to someone who lives a lifestyle you’ll never be able to live, and you couldn’t live, because it’s so dysfunctional and damaging to you as a person. You can almost live your life through them.”

Steen thinks for a moment, then outlines the simple reason why Shame won’t become rock stars. “That lifestyle could only exist because of money. Bands can’t go out now and get a kilo of coke or drive to Las Vegas in a Ferrari. Now it’s get a gram of speed and sit in a Travelodge. That’s the reality of it.”.

Shame formed when the five members were in their mid-teens and bumped along anonymously for a while, part of a nascent south London scene of bands drawn together through mutual friends that also included HMLTD, Goat Girl and Dead Pretties. Over the past year, all four bands transcended their free-party origins, getting signed, getting acclaimed and forming the nucleus of something that’s been missing in British music for some time: an exciting, youthful guitar scene whose participants are not grimly fixated on securing their slice of the post-Britpop lads-with-lagers crowd.

The scene, they say, was more the result of necessity than anything else: when few of their friends liked guitar bands, those who did would group together. “It was weird to meet people the same age as you who liked the same music,” Steen says. “Lots of people we knew at school were into popping pills and going to techno nights. But then we started meeting these people who were engaged with something we didn’t think existed.”

Shame formed around the Queen’s Head pub in Brixton, the former headquarters of the Fat White Family. Forbes’s dad was a friend of the landlord, who let the young band rehearse in an upstairs room (“Every day,” Forbes says. “Just hop on the bus to the after school club”). There they met assorted luminaries and recidivists of the south London music scene, but managed to avoid the worst excesses of the Fat Whites and their friends, largely through being too young to realise they were hanging around with committed hard drug users (“We were oblivious,” Forbes says).

They stumbled over lucky break after lucky break. Not just getting a free rehearsal space for 15 months, until the Queen’s Head was converted into a gastropub, but meeting people who then gave them studio space, and getting free advice from musicians who had been chewed up and spat out by major labels. What they learned was the importance of keeping as much control as possible over their decisions, which led them to sign to indie imprint Dead Oceans for their debut album, Songs of Praise. They also think the very grime of the Queen’s Head shaped them into being Shame: “I don’t think if we had started in a squeaky clean studio it would have been the same,” Forbes says.

‘We started meeting these people who were engaged with something we didn’t think existed’ ... Shame.

They are less interested in offering comfort than demanding resolve: “We like to confront those who have committed acts of injustice, by writing snippy songs about them,” Forbes says. Just before last year’s general election they released one such song about the prime minister, Visa Vulture. “With each day the vacuous Mrs May steers our country closer and closer into the darkness and confusion that is Brexit, no doubt securing the best deal for herself and her cronies in the Conservative party,” they wrote on YouTube. “We would like to take this opportunity to humiliate and debase her frankly evil political record even further with this, the world’s worst love song.”

But given they’re still so young – all five members are 20 or 21 – they sometimes haven’t worked out where their principles are taking them. So there’s a mild disagreement between Forbes and Steen over whether they would let their music be used in a TV advert by some particularly awful company.

“No chance,” Forbes says. “No chance.” Then Steen recalls the Fat Whites turning down £100,000 from easyJet. “They wanted to use Whitest Boy on the Beach. Lias [Saoudi, the Fat Whites’ singer] said the biggest mistake of his life was not taking the hundred grand. But until we have to make that decision …”

Forbes interrupts, surprised that Steen is deciding band policy on his own. “Oh no, there’s no way.”

The pair keep taking extreme positions, then realising they have to pull back from them, that their principles are racing away from practicality. When asked how they will respond when their crowd starts to include the beered-up geezers who tend to follow popular and boisterous guitar bands, Forbes says: “If I ever looked down from the stage and saw that, I would probably quit.”

Steen interrupts: “We wanna get rid and dissolve …” Forbes interrupts back: “Dissolve is too nice a word. Incinerate.”

And then Steen realises that suggesting pre-emptive incineration of their fans is, perhaps, a bit much. “We’re not going to discriminate against any person who comes to our show unless they do something unjust. But we don’t want to project any image of laddish behaviour. I’ve spoken to girls who feel that if they go into the pit they are going to get knocked about by older guys. And when that happens, you have to make a point to the crowd. We don’t want to stop anyone having fun, but we don’t want anyone to be hurt or harassed in any way.”

Their instinct for confrontation might make that a tightrope act. In one French TV appearance Steen, dressed in a T-shirt reading “Je suis Calais”, strutted across the presenters’ table and licked an audience member’s face – pick the wrong person for that, and he might well find himself called out on social media for the very things Forbes says the band want to avoid.

It’s oddly charming listening to a band working out what they think as they go along. For all the apparent certainties of Songs of Praise, for all their reputation for provocation – and the thrilling, tumbling rush of their music – they are very well aware of the limitations of being a rock band and of how damaging to mind and body it could be.

Last month, as Shame finished their year with a jaunt around Germany as a support slot, Steen had to call a stop to things. He was getting panic attacks; he wasn’t digesting his food; he was vomiting 15 times a day. “In that month we toured America, Canada, I did eight press days in Europe and London, played a show in Paris and then went on tour in Germany. Sitting in a van in the pitch black, and you’re in Hanover surrounded by snow and nothing else, and there’s only indistinguishable meat available … it can get you down.”

Over the next 12 months, Shame will take Songs of Praise around the world, to more and more people who will force them to confront their self-image as the band who are against things, whatever things happen to be on their minds. A band this exciting aren’t going to be allowed to sit still for long – in the weeks before they go to Australia at the end of January they are writing for their second album, because there will be no chance once the touring begins. They had better get used to the idea of more cans, more pitch black and even more indistinguishable meat, and not just in Hanover.

So might they become rock stars after all? Forbes suggests the very notion is “quite incredibly dated”, and Steen chips in. “Offensive as well, in a lot of ways. It will be a white male, skinny, perfect hair, who sleeps with women daily.”

That’s your principled position – but wouldn’t you really like to be rock stars, given the chance? “I’d just like a house with a pool table,” Steen says.

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Songs of Praise is released on Dead Oceans on 12th January.

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Shame is a five-piece post-punk band from England that are set to release their debut via the fine folks at Dead Oceans. Songs of Praise will see the light of day on January 12th. This tune rocks and I’m looking forward to catching a set while they’re at SXSW.

The track itself is the first song the band wrote together. “I think that’s reflected in the simplicity of it,” Steen states. A song about embracing insecurity as a strength, he continues, “It’s honest and raw, whilst attempting a stab at number one in the pop charts across the Eastern hemisphere.”

The London five piece have swiftly earned a reputation as one of the most visceral and exhilarating live bands in the UK, their combustible shows being honed through a heavy touring schedule in the UK – including an incredible sold out show at the Scala and a personal invite by Billy Bragg to play the Left Field stage at Glastonbury this year , and recently announced 2018 dates as well.

“One Rizla” from ’Songs Of Praise’ out January 12th, 2018 on Dead Oceans Records.

SHAME – ” Gold Hole “

Posted: October 2, 2017 in MUSIC
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Barely out of their teens, the five-piece are renowned as one of the UKs most exciting new groups with Loud and Quiet praising them as ‘One of the most watched and crucially most talked about live bands in London’.
Updating the politically conscious protest music of the Thatcher era to the modern day, the band marked the General Election with satirical Theresa May ode Visa Vulture as a free download.  A taster for their as yet untitled debut album set for release later this year, the group recently signed to powerhouse US indie label Dead Oceans (Slowdive, A Place To Bury Strangers).
With a full programme of Summer festivals including an invitation from Billy Bragg to play the Leftfield Stage at Glastonbury, Shame’s reputation as an essential live act continues to grow.

Gold Hole taken from ‘The Lick’ / ‘Gold Hole’ AA single out on Fnord.

South London upstarts Shame have shared a brand new singleTitled ‘Concrete’, frontman Charlie Steen explains the track as: about someone who’s trapped in a relationship and they’re being pummelled into surrender.

The video and song is called “Concrete.” Musically, its passionate, stuttered guitar and call-and-response reminds me of another U.K. band – Gang of Four from 40 years ago. But Shame’s music feels vital, with 19-year-old Steen and bassist Josh Finerty screaming at each other, revealing the inner dialog of the song’s main character.

Charlie Steen  said that “Concrete” is sung from the perspective of a lounger, an observer. “It’s a flâneur’s perspective on the psychological and emotionally draining effects of a doomed relationship – a moment where all of the worries and thoughts one might feel within this entrapment are isolated and embraced – a moment where the futility of reasoning is accepted.”

The video breaks down the wall between fiction and reality as Charlie Steen leaps off of a treadmill to join Sean Coyle-Smith and Eddie Green on guitars, Charlie Forbes on drums and Josh Finerty on bass.

Barely out of their teens, the five-piece are renowned as one of the UKs most exciting new groups with Loud and Quiet praising them as ‘One of the most watched and crucially most talked about live bands in London’.
Updating the politically conscious protest music of the Thatcher era to the modern day, the band marked the General Election with satirical Theresa May ode Visa Vulture as a free download.  A taster for their as yet untitled debut album set for release later this year, the group recently signed to powerhouse US indie label Dead Oceans.
With a full programme of Summer festivals including an invitation from Billy Bragg to play the Leftfield Stage at Glastonbury, Shame’s reputation as an essential live act continues to grow.

Shamesetlist
Nameless (0:27) Tasteless (4:44) Concrete (8:02) The Lick (11:52) Friction (16:49) One Rizla (21:48) Furry Freaks (25:48) Lampoon (29:20) Gold Hole (32:20) ? (37:18)

SHAME – ” Tasteless “

Posted: April 24, 2017 in MUSIC
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2016 saw the South London five piece Shame make a stand to attention with their breathlessly unhinged punk rock and wildly unbound live shows, 2017 is the year that they intend to push this up a notch.

To get things going, the band have shared the video for the snarling live anthem ‘Tasteless’, directed by lead singer Charlie Steen alongside Lou Smith. In Steen’s own words: “There always seems to be comfort in the collapsed, the constant pursuit for oblivion.

“What we portray is the detachment from what we have created ourselves, the willingness to destroy and demean it through stabbing, spray painting and eventually burning. All for one man’s slight amusement.

“It is a comment on removing oneself from thought and reasoning and accepting how nothing is truly permanent, nothing is completely original and only by understanding this can progression be made. The only boundary being reality itself, something many tend to avoid.”

7″ vinyl with Visa Vulture b-side out on Fnord available 14th April. Order from Rough Trade , Shame continue to cement themselves as a must see live act,

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SHAME – ” Tasteless “

Posted: March 9, 2017 in MUSIC
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South London post-punks Shame share their restless new track “Tasteless”,

The quintet force their acclaimed live show into three minutes of pure adrenaline on “Tasteless”, with sawblade riffs and hoarse-throated yowls liberally scattered across rampaging basslines and percussion. It’s the frothing energy and unrestrained charisma of Shame made fiercely permanent.

The band’s lead singer Charlie Steen explains that “Tasteless” is about “protesting against people’s constant acceptance and indifference towards deeply troubling issues within society as well as politics, only seeming to care when it is something that will affect them. [It’s] a comment disregarding some people’s over-sensitivity when a person or group of people speak out about something.”

Shame have a lot of shows planned for the coming weeks and months, including a stint at SXSW, Warpaint support slots, and their own headline dates.

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