New album: Food For Worms drops 24th February
If Songs of Praise was fuelled by pint-sloshing teenage vitriol, then Drunk Tank Pink delved into a different kind of intensity. Wading into uncharted musical waters, emboldened by their wit and earned cynicism, they created something with the abandon of a band who had nothing to lose. Having forced their way through their second album’s identity crisis, they arrive, finally, at a place of hard-won maturity. Enter: Food for Worms, which Steen declares to be “the Lamborghini of shame records.”
For the first time, the band are not delving inwards, but seeking to capture the world around them. “I don’t think you can be in your own head forever,” says Steen. A conversation after one of their gigs with a friend prompted a stray thought that he held onto: “It’s weird, isn’t it? Popular music is always about love, heartbreak, or yourself. There isn’t much about your mates.” In many ways, the album is an ode to friendship, and a documentation of the dynamic that only five people who have grown up together - and grown so close, against all odds - can share.
It also marks a sonic departure from anything they’ve done before. shame have abandoned their post-punk beginnings for far more eclectic influences, drawing from the tense atmospherics of Merchandise, the sharp yet uncomplicated lyrical observations of Lou Reed and the more melodic works of 90s German band, Blumfeld.
In the past, their music had been almost clinically assembled, with the vocals and the band existing as two distinct layers. But Food for Worms, there has never been such an immediate sense of togetherness - and more than that, it was fun. Everyone chipped in on vocals; they made the unifying choice to sing, rather than the solitude that comes with a shout. Roles were not so fiercely defined, with Steen taking command of the bass guitar for the anthemic “Adderall”, devising a simple progression that bassist Josh Finerty would never dream of, pushing the album into new, unexpected places.
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