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Songs Of Praise


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Performer Notes
  • Post-punk is such a long-running style that its 21st century practitioners sometimes sound like they're going through the motions, but Shame's Songs of Praise is a reminder of just how vital it is at its best. On their debut album, the South London band certainly recalls legends like Television Personalities and Gang of Four, as well as newer acts such as Iceage and Savages. But even if the framework of their music is familiar, the energy they bring to it feels new, electrifying their songs as they bridge the personal and political with wit and fury. On the bristling "Concrete," singer Charlie Steen and bassist Josh Finerty's vocals ricochet off each other as they express both sides of the internal debate of someone trapped in a go-nowhere relationship; later, on "Gold Hole," Shame explore the fine line between exploitation and empowerment as they teeter between taut and frantic. Here and throughout Songs of Praise, it feels like Shame are using these sounds to rage against the world's injustices for the first time. Steen's charisma is one of the band's greatest assets, and his charisma carries lyrics as on-the-nose as "Friction"'s "Do you know the difference between what is right and what is wrong?" Shame also displays an impressive amount of range and ambition on Songs of Praise. On the Cribs-esque "One Rizla" and "Tasteless," they prove they're just as skilled at polished guitar pop as they are ferocious rants like "Donk" and "The Lick." The band even get a bit arty on the album's dour opener "Dust on Trial" and particularly on its seven-minute finale "Angie," a slow-burning tale of star-crossed love and suicide. Whether they're sophisticated or visceral, Shame's energy and confidence makes Songs of Praise an exciting debut from one of the most vital-sounding British rock bands of the late 2010s. ~ Heather Phares
Professional Reviews
NME (Magazine) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "This is a band with a real sense of showmanship, as those who have witnessed Shame's sweat-slicked live shows will know. It's this that makes SONGS OF PRAISE utterly invigorating."

Paste (magazine) - "Delivered with a heavy dose of grit and honesty....It makes for their own, unique brand of sociopolitics-lite, done with a nudge, a wink, and just enough of the unexpected."

Clash (Magazine) - "The South London wrecking crew's live shows boast an incredible intensity, a sense of risk, of daring, a feeling that this could all end, all collapse within seconds -- but, somehow, it doesn't."
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