#2 Crash 2021 Top 40
Shame - Drunk Tank Pink
2. Nigel Hitter
3. Born in Luton
4. March Day
5. Water in the Well
6. Snow Day
8. Great Dog
10. Harsh Degrees
11. Station Wagon
There are moments on Drunk Tank Pink where you almost
have to reach for the sleeve to check this is the same band
who made 2018’s Songs Of Praise. Such is the jump Shame
have made from the riotous post-punk of their debut to the
sprawling adventurism and twitching anxieties laid out here.
The South Londoner’s blood and guts spirit, that wink and
grin of devious charm, is still present, it’s just that it’s grown
into something bigger, something deeper, more ambitious and
The genius of Drunk Tank Pink is how these lyrical themes
dovetail with the music. Opener Alphabet dissects the premise
of performance over a siren call of nervous, jerking guitars, its
chorus thrown out like a beer bottle across a mosh pit.
Songs spin off and lurch into unexpected directions throughout
here, be it March Day’s escalating aural panic attack or the
shapeshifting darkness of Snow Day. There’s a Berlin era Bowie
beauty to the lovelorn Human For A Minute while closer Station
Wagon weaves from a downbeat mooch into a souring, soul-
lifting climax in which Steen elevates himself beyond the clouds
and into the heavens. Or at least that’s what it sounds like.
From the womb to the clouds (sort of), Shame are currently
very much in the pink.
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