As someone who’s incredibly new to this genre of music, I’ve always been intrigued by it. From what I’ve heard, post-punk has some of the most interesting instrumentals I’ve ever listened to, and that’s in positive light. With it’s positive reception, I was quite engrossed by this album’s release. Just due to the high praise of both their debut, and now their sophomore album. After listening to this album, I did learn one thing… I’m a fan.
Shame’s “Drunk Tank Pink” is by far the best album to come out this year by a longshot. Before the writing of this review, I actually decided to listen to their previous album, “Songs of Praise” to provide a little bit more context to their discography. I came out very surprised, as it was a very strong debut album, with nearly the same quality as “Drunk Tank Pink”, but there were a few flaws with it. Throughout my whole listen, I felt there was just something missing, but I didn’t know what it was. It was clearly a debut album, and there was work to do, and things to improve on, but nevertheless, it was a great album. “Drunk Tank Pink” filled that void for me, found what was missing, and knocked it out of the park easily.
Their sophomore release seems to be a more refined and improved version of their debut, providing more captivating performances and instrumentals, entailing you into a ride of your lifetime. What was missing for me was the lack of interest I really had for “Songs of Praise”, although still loving it, I didn’t have much to come back to or to write about, but with this album, it’s an amazing experience throughout, without any lackluster moment. There’s this hypnotic thing about this album that keeps me fully immersed and interested in what I’m listening to. If a project can keep me interested all around, to really look into the deep details, to go into the lyrics and find a greater meaning, they’ve struck a chord with me at that point. From start to end, I kept both headphones in, mostly focused into the music, and when it ended, I didn’t really want more. The reason why is because I think the band did an amazing job with fulfilling your interests in this album. The length is perfect for what this is, and it ends off on a great note, so you never have this yearn for it to have been longer with more tracks. It uses its length efficiently and there isn’t filler, which was one of the problems of “Songs of Praise”. Basically what I’m trying to say, it fixed all of the glaring problems off their debut and adding so much more to it. They’ve fully proved that they aren’t just an “average” post-punk band, but that they can easily be a standout, at least to my knowledge, as they did phenomenally here.
Before I get into the album, let me tell you about a personal experience, trust me, it has something to do with the album, and this experience actually enhanced my interest and personal opinion on the album. Recently, and for a long while actually, I’ve been watching a lot of older TV shows, and sort of delving into the past. A lot of the music/soundtracks used were mostly rock music, as that genre did dominate in that era. I’ve always appreciated that type of music, even when watching older shows/movies/concerts and just looking into older media in general, but I’ve never actually gone out of my way to listen to the music in my free time. This album really opened that door for me, and it somehow made me feel nostalgic, for something I never even showed super clear interest in, it made me feel nostalgic. “Drunk Tank Pink” is an album that I never asked for, or even knew I wanted, but the album I needed.
To get into the album itself, what makes it so great? Why does it deserve all the praise it’s getting? Well, I’ll tell you why. The main aspect of this album that really piqued my interest was the amount of passion there was. From both the instrumentals and the performances, that passion really gave me that sense of panic and joy simultaneously. It’s just a feel-good listen, with some of the most clean and satisfying production from this year. Every time the guitar crescendo, it always has this rewarding payoff each time, and it gives me that feeling of pleasure each time. This is the type of album you’d roll down the windows to and to yell into the universe, shouting out these lyrics, cause it has that power, and you want to unleash it through yourself instead of keeping it to yourself. As I said before, I felt immersed into this album. It somehow struck a chord with me that I didn’t really know myself. This was my introduction to the genre, and when it can open the doors to a new type of experience for me, it’s something great. That nostalgic feeling that I detailed on earlier, although a personal experience, it really boosted my love for the album. Is it a bias? Technically not, since I haven’t heard the name “shame” before, but somehow it’s a bias for something I’ve never even heard of. It’s instant love. To get back into the music itself, I think the performances are great. They meld into the production perfectly, like they were just meant to be 2 and 2. The vocalist/s has great variety in their style, sounding great quieter and showing more emotion. Personally, I really love that emotion/passion in this record. When they show dedication/care into their music just from their voice alone, it really makes me want to care about it. What kept me interested the most was the production, because like the performances, they were phenomenal. They both mixed together perfectly, and the instrumentals are what adds to this album the most. They’re very detailed, nostalgic, passionate, and magical, and without them, this album wouldn’t be what it is now.
“Drunk Tank Pink” opened a new door in music for me, it showed a part of me that I never knew about, made me interested in a genre that I’ve never really gone into due to the lack of pure fascination I had. “Songs of Praise” was a great album, but their sophomore record truly showed their raw talent through the amazing production and heart-filled performances. If an album can make me take a deep dive into a new genre, you’ve completed your goal, and they easily nailed it.
Favorite Tracks: Alphabet, Nigel Hitter, Born in Luton, Water in the Well, Human, For A Minute, Harsh Degrees, Station Wagon
Least Favorite Tracks: None