After the release of their positively received debut album Songs of Praise and eighteen months taking their exceptional live show to locations they’d previously only seen on Trip Advisor, Shame front man Charlie Steen took himself off to Cuba for a break. Whilst the island’s unique cultural stew hadn’t been poisoned by authoritarianism as many commentators would have you believe, the singer eventually came home observing that to it’s detriment, one of the few surviving bastions of socialism didn’t have much of a gig circuit.
Nowhere has much of one of those at the moment, but Drunk Tank Pink is a follow up to their first album in so much as it was made by the same band, but little else. Named after the theory that violent people are calmed by the soothing effect of a certain shade of paint, the title seems at odds with the change, disruption and ambition of it’s contents: previous converts are in for a wild new ride.
In fairness to Steen and co. much of this was signposted on the likes of Alphabet, a hyperactive punk junket on the duality of the performer-audience relationship, or Nigel Hitter’s take on the forced indolence of lockdown. Gone are the nods to producer Martin Hannett, replaced by a new genuflection at the feet of David Byrne’s scattergun funk and tribal grooves. Drunk Tank Pink might go down well in Havana – and it certainly leaves Shame thousands of miles away from their beginnings.
You can read the full review here.