These British upstarts are anything but abashed. Their music is boldly in your face, their somewhat standoffish interviews are endlessly quotable, and their performances are fiery. Exploding out of the burgeoning South London scene, Shame are a youthful reincarnation of the original post-punk bands, with all the snarl and sarcasm intact.
While their stellar debut album, Songs of Praise, was released at the very beginning of this year, the exhilarating “One Rizla” has been a rallying cry since its release in 2017. For me, “One Rizla” is unequivocally the most anthemic rock song of the last two years. The track features frontman Charlie Steen’s full-throated scream-singing over massive instrumentation. The listener hangs on every word Steen spits out, like the concisely profound “You’re confusing love with greed” to the impudent chorus of “But if you think I love you / You’ve got the wrong idea.” And as soon as Steen stops singing, the addictive riffs of guitarists Eddie Green and Sean Coyle-Smith ring out into the beautiful commotion, and echo in your head for days. The rest of the record features a wide variety of post-punk sounds, from the pounding drums and angular guitars of “Concrete” to the headbanging gloom of “Gold Hole.” The closer “Angie” slowly builds into a gorgeous and atmospheric prayer that brings the record back to its anthemic high point and befits its title.
If videos of their previous performances are any indication, Shame’s live show will be an incendiary mix of larynx-shredding vocals and the urgent intensity of a young band on fire. Come see Steen hoist a mic stand over his shoulders and the band stare you down in person at the Sinclair on October 1st at 8pm.