Shame resurrect the power of political punk, with debut album ‘Songs of Praise’
Saturday 13th January 2018 | Alice
Barely out of their teens, south London’s finest new offering, Shame, are making waves with their gritty, honest brand of modern punk, and boldly represent the voice of a young, dissatisfied, politically-aware generation on their new album Songs of Praise.
Shame first emerged towards the end of 2014, however, unlike many of the indie guitar bands at the time, Shame took their time in creating music that could really be important - not the same monotonous riffs and chords but something more tangible and interesting, through intelligently charged lyrics that show the awareness of today’s youth.
This ethos is clear in their brand new LP, where their refreshing strength of great witty lyrics brings back a brutal sense of realism that has been missing in mainstream music for quite some time. In short, Shame is making music for modern Britain.
With already a few of their raucous singles put out there over the past year, we had a taste of what the album would bring, in the form of the driving punk single ‘Concrete’, as well as the dark cheeky lyrics of ‘Gold Hole’ and the catchy, aggressive live-favourite ‘One Rizla’.
The album expands on the band’s already popular sound, but most importantly reaffirms their interest in politics and the decaying state of their country. Like much of Britain’s politically aware youth, the Shame boys find themselves on the hopeless left of a society run by an elite Tory government, who have no real connection to the desperate needs of the poverty-stricken working classes, and so Songs of Praise is here to spread the message.
The band’s political position became clear in 2017 with the release of their self-proclaimed “world’s worst love song”, ‘Visa Vulture’, directed at Theresa May around the time of the snap general election. Writing that the “vacuous” leader “steers our country closer and closer into the darkness that is Brexit”. In the riotous opener of Songs of Praise, ‘Dust on Trial’, this sentiment is continued, as frontman Charlie Steen sings of “a world that could crumble//where the soil is red”, giving a voice for the damaged society of ‘broken Britain’.
Another great track, ‘Friction’, again expresses the struggle of a society polarised by the gap between those in power and those in need. Steen rallies us with the lyrics: “They say it’s going forwards but I feel it flowing backwards//In a time of such injustice how can you not want to be heard?”
Shame are one of the few progressive bands out there calling for a revolution through their platform, and Songs of Praise could be a promising show of a change to come.
Check out the new video for their single 'One Rizla' below: