An essential listen for 2018.
Label: Dead Oceans
Released: 12th January 2018
People who judge books by the cover are a bunch of right ol’ fools, aren’t they?! If you’d heard about Shame through the core facts, here’s what you would have probably read: visceral punk, in your face live shows, comparisons with the Fat White Family and based in South London.
Shame are much more than that, and ‘Songs Of Praise’ is too – a staggering opus that finds them fully realised and confident in their skin, ready to tear down anything in their path with a record of undeniable importance.
‘Songs Of Praise’ is consistently on its toes, rolling with every punch. Opener ‘Dust On Trial’ lays the path with a ferocious intensity, seething with a riotous flair that could quite literally shake anyone onto their feet. It’s a sense of individuality and originality that makes it hit from the first bell. ‘The Lick’, ‘Gold Hole’ and ‘Friction’ dare the listener to come forward, ripping apart conventions, touching upon society, love, fear and growing-up in a world bleaker than ever.
It’s all delivered with a wink, sounding like Nick Cave setting-up shop in South London and peering out of the window. The menacing call of ‘Concrete’, the chewed-up hooks of ‘One Rizla’ and the back and forth chimes of ‘Tasteless’ that pile towards euphoria – Shame perfectly manage to sprinkle a flavour of every previous generation, but serve it up as their own unabashed manifesto. Holding a mirror up to the world they’ve found themselves in, it’s a band discovering more at every moment – and that’s why it’s so exciting.
It’s an album to click play on again and again, every time struck by its sheer strength. ’Songs Of Praise’ shouldn’t just be an essential listen for 2018, but one that’ll be looked back on as a moment where things changed. Gripping, rich and ready to drag you from your seat, people are going to know about Shame, and know exactly what they’re destined to become. Jamie Muir