Shame, an upcoming punk band that hails from South London, just released their debut album “Songs of Praise” this January, and has received much critical acclaim from the UK to the U.S. They are currently touring around America right now from coast to coast and will make a stop at the beloved Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro on March 20. Hit music magazines like NME has called their debut “utterly invigorating” and Pitchfork which said the album “…threatens to storm into those god-fearing living rooms like an uninvited black sheep, staining the image of safe Britain with post-punk hymns of disgust.”
Shame is made up of the lively Charlie Steen on vocals, Sean Coyle-Smith and Eddie Green on the guitars alongside bassist Josh Finerty and drummer Charlie Forbes. Currently, the band is on tour with “Songs of Praise,” heading through Arizona on their way to San Diego.
“We’ve all been at school together during our education at some point or another and we had this long summer after we finished school super early and we had all this time on our hands and we thought we’d do something vaguely productive,” said Green, referencing how the band originated. That something vaguely productive was rehearsing and relentlessly playing the London pub circuit – sometimes three or four times a week, quickly gaining notoriety.
They have been taking their time with this record, having worked on it almost since the beginning. “This record is a culmination of songs, some of which were written a year ago, some of which were written three years ago,” Green said. “It’s kind of an amalgamation of everything we’ve been doing as a band.” All that work paid off. They’ve made an impact already with their debut album and have a wildly successful U.S. tour in full swing.
“Songs of Praise” is full of that gritty rebellious punk that harkens back to The Clash with their provocative lyrics and I don’t give a f*ck attitude. The album is full of songs that poke and prod with excessively sharpened scalpels at the bridled conformity that people seem to accept in today’s society with tracks like “Tasteless,” which was released as a single back in March 2017. The song is deconstructing the monotonous day to day life of the average person with head-turning lyrics like, “Well I’m worth wasting/Try another technique/Sodomy had a place in the past/But now it’s fashionable/Nothing new…”
They range from the fun, wild side in songs like “One Rizla” to dark and brooding like on “Dust on the Trail.” Their album sticks out from the average post-punk British band of today because of the rare authenticity in their music.
“I personally don’t feel like I’ve been massively influenced by any one person but there are definitely people I have a lot of respect for. Like the late Mark E. Smith,” Green said, talking about his musical influences. “You can sort of learn a lot from that approach, the idea of not just playing the game, not going through the industry factory and just doing it in your own way.” That seems to be exactly what they’re doing.
Their next year is jam-packed with performances but for those of you who are fans of Shame, you’ll be happy to know that they’ve begun writing their second album. They are hoping to get a lot more songs out there, so this will surely not be the last we hear from them. Their performance at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro will be Tuesday, March 20 – doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show will start at 8:30 p.m. To get tickets, visit http://catscradle.com/.