“Shame, shame, that’s the name”. The band have repeated this mantra at each and every gig they’ve played so far – from support act, to headliner, to mainstage – growing in ferocity and stage presence from one year to the next. Garnering a prestigious AOTY award from Rough Trade, landing interviews with The Guardian and Pitchfork, and even scraping the UK Top 40, Shame are poised for huge success in 2019 providing their follow up expands on this year’s excellent Songs of Praise.
There seems to be an ever-growing market for UK punk revival – with the tour-de-force that is Bristol’s very own IDLES taking the lead, landing support slots with Foo Fighters (of all people) and presenting a sound that has never felt so vital and needed in such tumultuous times. Whilst IDLES seem to present a positive outlook or loving embrace in the face of trauma, Shame opt for a vitriol and effusive anger that is equal parts terrifying and cathartic to behold. You can hear it in the snarls of ‘Concrete’, the wails of ‘The Lick’ and the cathartic roar of ‘Dust On Trial’ – Charlie Steen’s vocal performance propelling the band into stratospheric heights of animal urgency. Shame, alongside contemporaries like Goat Girl, IDLES, Preoccupations and Protomartyr, present music so thoroughly interwoven with its times that it can’t possibly be ignored – tapping into some deep-seated consciousness that some things just aren’t right.
With Songs of Praise behind them, we can only wait with bated breath to see what Shame will do next. There’s widely-held hope that they’ll stick to their punk roots on their next album, and not dumb it down to climb the Top 40 in a fashion akin to the now creatively flaccid Enter Shikari – but only time will tell. Regardless of how their sound evolves over the next year or so, Shame feel like a band that’s here to stay, able to effortlessly capture the heart and minds of a progressive audience concerned with its future.
Songs of Praise is available now via Dead Oceans.