Photo: Holly Whitaker
Forget sneaking quietly across the ocean and dipping your toes into tepid U.S. water, UK’s Shame have landed with the subtlety of a bratty kid doing a cannonball in an overcrowded pool on a hot summer day. Early tour reports from gigs on the East Coast have revealed this post-punk quintet is the real deal despite the fact that most of the members have been playing instruments for less than 5 years!
Shame’s debut, Songs of Praise, came out on Dead Oceans in January and the working class lyrics and bristling guitars have earned well-deserved comparisons to the likes of The Fall, Gang of Four, The Clash and the oft-overlooked Eddy Current Suppression Ring (pull up 2010’s Rush to Relax on Spotify for a good primer). Like Idlewild’s 1998 debut Hope is Important, Songs of Praise is a diverse listen – from the peppy pop with snarling vocals (“Concrete”) to the sparse and reserved numbers (“The Lick”) to the paranoid creepers (“Dust on Trial”) to jangly indie rockers (“One Rizla”). It’s little wonder this album has been getting glowing reviews from all corners of the world.
Shame make their Ohio debut on Saturday night at Spacebar with support from Pittsburgh’s The Gotobeds and Columbus’s Kizzy Hall and The Roof Dogs. If you want to be on the safe side (I’d be surprised if this show doesn’t sell out), you can pick up advance tickets for $8. If you’re the gambling type, tickets are $10 at the door on Saturday.