Departing sonically from the debaucherous nature of previous albums Songs of Praise and Drunk Tank Pink, UK post-punk outfit Shame cultivate honest force and reflective ground with Food for Worms. Serving purpose and sonic dynamics, the young lads deliver angular rage with earnest maturity on their third studio album.
Shame tame themselves for moments at a time to reflect on connections to their friends and family. Slowing to a trot, the band touches on things such as drug use on “Adderall,” the energy paced in sync with the drug’s effect while their performance slowly builds and ambiguously declines.
Embracing the frailty of life, frontman Charlie Steen spills his heart out speaking to the anxiety associated with drug use that he’s developed from being on the road, picked from obscurity, and throttled face-first into notoriety. Calling upon producer Flood (U2, Nine Inch Nails, The Smashing Pumpkins), Shame approached their third studio album as a live recording venture. Somewhat reminiscent of Fugazi’s progression into clarity with End Hits, tracks like “The Fall of Paul” and “Burning by Design” display maturity, pride, and grounding affirmation that raw energy can be harnessed into a beautiful cacophony of carnage and melancholy.
Never has Shame’s staggering power and occasional theatric clout shone so concerted and collected. This progression is a departure that unifies the band as a stand-out alternative force not to be defined in a singular genre, only to be explored further.