Review Summary: I know how I feel, but I have difficulties figuring out in what tone to express that.
Quite an interesting tendency can be observed in the British scene today. It seems that we have a new resurgence of energetic young Post-Punk revival bands on our hands, each trying to replicate a slightly different approach. From Shopping’s hasty bass-driven cockiness; to HMLTD’s eccentric craziness, flavoured by a tonne of Bowiean Electropop; to Holy Esque’s aggression-spiced bitterness with vocals that are one decibel away from fitting on a Death Metal album; to now Shame, who are trying to blindly reach somewhere to the Indie Rock tree, hoping to grab a fruit, but ending up catching a nest of bees.
Songs of Praise
is an album that has only one thing figured out: it wants to be ironic and angsty. However, its bipolar energy that jumps from fast-paced snarky tunes to more biting odes to desperation dissolve the flow. With its themes and song-writing that’d better suit an Emo record, this is quite a dissonant effort. That is not to say that the band cannot write a memorable song. They certainly can, but never in a particularly striking manner; or at least not striking enough for you to be able to point anything out as a highlight.
Don’t believe the album’s title, for these songs are pretty much all either somewhat negative or just filled with pitiful resentfulness, reaching from mild to crushing. But the band doesn’t seem to know exactly how to deliver that theme and mood, as the songs either sound too uplifting or just fatuously angry with a heavy dose of pretend-apathy.
Then again, often times it seems as though the stylistic dissonance is not caused by the album’s bitty flow, since the individual tunes also cannot quite impress beyond a simple “yeah, that was alright.” Had they just embraced their Emo tendencies, then even the shotty melodies might have found their place. As of right now, let’s hope that the other up-and-coming projects form London’s underground Post-Punk scene break out with a more focused work.