Shame seemed to hit their marks with everything they tried to accomplish- uncomplicated sonic foundation, unique melodic ideas, and emotional delivery. At first glance, this is simply a work from a young group of determined musicians with familiar rock n’ roll influences and something important to say. It doesn’t take much, though, to recognize the specialness and worth of this particular album. It’s rooted in a basic, recognizable sonic presentation with the electric guitar taking on an important role of attempting to provide the most recognizable features and personality, all while delivering the harmonic foundation. Its workload could have eased up a bit throughout, as a couple of songs got somewhat stuck with periods of pure guitar dominance when linear musical ideas seemed to run out, but it was an overall strong, sensible delivery from the familiar instrumentation. On top of this sonic foundation was some wonderfully enjoyable creativity in songwriting at a very appreciative level of consistency. These songs showed their true strength in the harmonic structures. The use of harmonic pedal tones were rather abundant, and by not traveling too far these harmonies succeeded with providing an entertaining, rhythmic groove and ear-catching developments when slight chordal shifts were made. This allowed the form of each song to be unrestrained and unpredictable, leading to some great builds in songs like “Dust On Trial”, “Tasteless”, and “Angie”. Going one layer higher, what made some of these songs really stand out and indeed make this album a fun listen were the several engaging melodic lines that glued the music together with a stamp of intricacy and ingenuity. While less consistent in finding the right energy or purpose, the melodies always provided a good amount of interest and helped maintain the existing groove. The bass line in “Friction” is especially killer. The melody was at its best when at the forefront of the texture, but that wasn’t always the case. When pitched, the vocals always showcased the melodic layer in the strongest way. However, the biggest negative about this work is that the vocals did not have a proportionate role in delivering the worth of the music. Lots of Sprechstimme and even yelling was implemented throughout. It worked very well on the side of intent, with the emotion coming across clear. That’s very important of course, but that tactic eventually lost some of its edge and became less interesting, especially given that it hindered some potential melodic development. It’s certainly not bad if that’s the biggest downfall. All of this comes down to being a fun, enjoyable work. Since this is the band’s debut album, I can’t help but think about all the other bands making music at this level of quality who just aren’t recognized by the industry yet. I’m happy that this band broke though, and a nice future seems to lie ahead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.