Shame – Songs of Praise
The punk scene in the UK is ready and raring to go. Now we just need the bands. Having been fermenting and gurgling under the surface while the Tories use Skeletor-esque approaches to control their population, bands such as Shame, Idles, Touts and The Blinders are in the ascendancy and ready to give 2018 a politicised and visceral aesthetic. Apart from rough and ready releases here and there, Shame have quietly been amassing admirers and as a primary mission statement, Songs of Praise is a very decent beginning.
It’s certainly as intelligent as any punk record you’ll hear this year, lead singer Charlie Steen’s vocal work is deliciously marauding and suggestive, but it’s the guitar work which genuinely allows the record to come to life, the lads channeling Gang of Four’s angularity and The Chameleons tonality to give it a very post-punk sound despite the baying, ‘call to arms’ lyricism. Concrete is a particularly special track, displaying the contours and nuance of this brave and necessary record which will surely spearhead many more like Shame to down tools and reach for guitars.
4 / 5