Drunk Tank Pink By Shame – Album Review
The UK based Post Punk Band, ‘Shame’ released their new Album, ‘Drunk Tank Pink’ on January 15th of this year. The Album came with a lot of expectations as their previous effort, 2018’s “Songs of Praise” was well regarded and received critical acclaim from fans of Post Punk and Critics alike.
The band, based in South London is comprised of Charlie Steen on Lead Vocals, Charlie Forbes on Drums, Eddie Green and Sean Coyle-Smith on Guitar and Josh Finerty on Bass.
With this new Album, Shame wanted to open a new chapter of the band’s story and recently talked about how much the band had changed as people between their last record and this one. Thankfully this latest release has created a new feel for the band going forward and has completely blown their previous work out of the water.
It is with immense pleasure we announce a new chapter of shame. Our second album ‘Drunk Tank Pink’ will be unearthed on January 15th. Produced by James Ford with artwork of my father by Tegen Williams. https://t.co/SgJFiQSA7W pic.twitter.com/hdP4DY4rTD
— shame (@shamebanduk) November 18, 2020
Post-Punk and Punk music generally has been going through a revival and evolution in the last 5-10 years with bands like Shame and IDLES being a critical part of the revival by making explosive and heavy music that is entrancing and chant-able.
Drunk Tank Pink as an Album is a departure from their previous work, it is a lot more experiential in its overall feel and strays away from a traditional heavy Punk sound for many of the songs on the album, though it doesn’t stray too far, with some songs feeling very safe, similar to a more traditional punk sound.
The Album’s first song, “Alphabet” is one of the songs on the album that follows that traditional punk rock sound. Loud booming bass and heavy drums that easily stand out cement this song as traditional punk rock. However, immediately following “Alphabet” the album becomes much more experimental with the sounds it tries to bring across to the listener.
Songs like “Nigel Hitter”, the Album’s second song and “Born in Luton”, the third song off the record include bass lines that are much more extravagant, intricate and upbeat than what was seen previously on “Alphabet”, with the bass very much being a driving force in many of the album’s songs.
Throughout the album, the band plays around with changes in tempo and feel mid-song. This trend starts with the song “Born in Luton”, which starts out more on the heavy side but gives out a much slower, more emotional side.
While “Born in Luton” tries something new for the band’s music with its tempo changes, it doesn’t manage to blend the slower and faster portions as well as it possibly could, which is shown later in the Album.
“Snow Day” the sixth song on the album is built around the band’s changes in tempo and feel. This song (while being one of the most experimental songs on the album) is one of the best songs on the album, with Steen’s vocals moving from monotone sounding spoken word lyrics into intense yells by the 2-minute mark, “Snow Day” uses these changes fantastically and has worked the changes in tempo and feel to a point where they feel like a natural progression instead of a jarring mess.
The Album’s final song “Station Wagon” is a slow burn, it starts out slowly and quietly but eventually builds into a chaotic mess of guitar, drums, bass and piano. To start, a subdued guitar and drum track plays in the background with vocals taking focus. The lyrics “Hit or Miss, Hit or Miss” are repeated softly in the background throughout the first half of the song and by the halfway point, all instruments are silent while a soft piano riff plays with the other band members slowly entering back into the song.
Overall, Drunk Tank Pink has a lot to offer. As an attempt to take Shame’s sound away from a more traditional and safe heavy punk Rock/Post Punk sound it succeeds, while it doesn’t stray too far from that sound, it does try some new things and is a nice breath of fresh air. This Album has everything a fan of the Post Punk could want and offers a good jumping-in point for people who aren’t too familiar with what Post Punk is and what it sounds like.
1 – Human for a Minute, Song 7:
The first properly slow song on the album “Human for a Minute” stands out with a much more subdued sound when compared to the rest of the album. Steen’s monotone vocals are delivered in such a way that the story of the song is easy to follow and understand, and the accompanying music amplifies the feel of Steen’s vocals with a beautiful guitar solo to bring the song to an end.
2 – Snow Day, Song 6:
“Snow Day” is the first song on the Album to effectively use the changes in tempo and feel that Shame has tried to use throughout the album. The tempo and other changes feel fluid and add to the song’s overall dreary feeling. The song starts out slowly and builds into a more explosive outburst near the mid-point of the song.