Songs of Praise
Released in 2018
Reviewed January 17 2018
The quest for the next thing is forever ongoing. Shame are it at the moment. A best new band. While impressive, it's most tempting to sit still and wait to see if they also become the new best band.
It quickly becomes apparent that they've nailed their sound. Wide, modulated, fuzzy guitars and Charlie Steen's eager, slightly menacing vocals over a solid pulse. It's that archetypal rock phenomenon: something overly familiar being put together just a little bit differently, and sounding fresh and original.
It's easy to hear a lot of things. Like in 'Gold Hole', you might hear Oasis performing a song by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Art Brut lurch in the shadows ('Friction'), together with The Clash. A bit of Jarvis Cocker-ism here. Some daft mid-90's Britpop act there ('One Rizla').
There's nothing wrong with being influenced by the past. Or even inspired. Again, that old thing in a new livery. In many ways, Shame make up for lack of imagination with sheer dedication. Still, Songs of Praise feels more like documentation of progress than that seminal debut album.