Shame thrives on confrontation. Whether it be the seething intensity crackling throughout debut LP Songs of Praise or the adrenaline-pumping chaos that unfolds at Shame’s shows, it’s all fuelled by feeling. NPR’s Bob Boilen noted, “Of the 70 bands I saw at this year’s SXSW, the band Shame seemed to mean what they played more than any other.”
Comprised of vocalist Charlie Steen, guitarists Sean Coyle-Smith and Eddie Green, bassist John Finerty, and drummer Charlie Forbes, the London-based five-piece began as school boys. From the outset, Shame built the band up from a foundation of DIY ethos while citing The Fall and Wire among its biggest musical influences.
Utilizing both the grit and sincerity of that musical background, Shame carved out a niche in the South London music scene and then barrelled fearlessly into the angular, thrashing post-punk that would go on to make up Songs of Praise.
After fielding multiple record label offers, Shame signed with Dead Oceans in early 2017. They recorded debut album Songs Of Praise in Rockfield Studios, Wales in 10 days. At just 10 tracks and a run time of 39 minutes, it’s a compression of everything they are about. "We wanted our first album to be concise and to the point," says Steen. "No bullshit."
From “Gold Hole,” a tongue-in-cheek takedown of rock narcissism, to lead single “Concrete” detailing the overwhelming moment of realizing a relationship is doomed, to the frustrated “Tasteless” taking aim at the monotony of people droning through their day-to-day, Songs of Praise never pauses to catch its breath.