Heartbreak and Identity Crisis: Shame Push Themselves on Drunk Tank Pink

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, Shame‘s Charlie Steen hopes that his band’s new album is a fresh start for those requiring relief during these mercurial/turbulent times.

“I’m doing really good today,” Steen tells SPIN over Zoom late last year. “It’s a bit weird, really. With the new album coming out, I’ve been thinking about the past year and what we’ve gone through.”

He fires up a cigarette.

“I really hope this album is a new beginning in a new, different world.”

The new album he’s referring to is Drunk Tank Pink, Shame’s second release and the anticipated follow-up to their debut, 2018’s Songs of Praise.

Written in 2019, Drunk Tank Pink has the London band playfully shifting sonic and artistic gears, keeping the listener in perpetual aloof of what’s coming next. From the pulsating new-wave gem “Nigel Hitter” to the rousing gang vocals on “Water in the Well,” it is evident that the band has evolved beyond the post-punk blueprint they clearly had in hand with their more aggressive first record.

“We definitely tried to push ourselves and create something different with this album,” says drummer Charlie Forbes, whose father is featured on the album cover. “There is some funky stuff and then there’s the opposite – songs that aren’t funky at all. It’s a mix we’re really happy with. And then there’s the fact that we all got so much better at our instruments and our abilities. We wanted to show that off, really, and this album shows what we’re capable of.”

 

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