SHAME: Songs of Praise: CD/LP

Normally the thought of yet another band playing post-punk in this day and age would cause me to sigh and roll my eyes. Yet I was pleasantly surprised if not enthused by Songs of Praise. “One Rizla” is a sun-soaked gem for summer with riffs that sound as though they’re heavily influenced by Joy Division. “Gold Hole” is indebted to The Rolling Stones. The whole album gives a big nod to British post-punk acts like Gang Of Four and The Fall, while at times also reminiscent of Rites Of Spring. It’s sensitive but also has muscle and that’s likely due to the fact that there’s an aggression that inherently comes with the youth of the band members (they’re all under twenty-one). Go watch videos of this British five-piece online or see them live. I’ve seen hardcore punk bands that bring less intensity than Shame. For a genre that is normally passive, Shame has given it some ferocity and edginess in an entirely un-cliché way. This will definitely end up as one of the top albums of the year for me. –Kurt Morris (Dead Oceans)