Food For Worms

Dead Oceans • 2023

If you’re not just looking to add the new album from the South London band Shame to your collection because of its cover from the renowned Canadian artist Marcel Dzama, who was also responsible for the grandiose artwork on Beck’s »Guero«, then you should know that »Food for Worms« is the most ambitious album by the post-punk band to date. While their gigs have always been a sweaty affair, this time around, the ten songs were recorded live in the studio under the supervision of producer icon Flood (Nine Inch Nails, The Smashing Pumpkins, PJ Harvey). But those now anticipating almost three quarters of an hour of angry, cerebral ranting will be surprised by the Brits’ second gutsy decision. Whereas Shame always liked to flirt with dissonance in the past, front man Charlie Steen keeps coming back to harmonies and vocals on »Food for Worms«, and he even took singing lessons to help him do so. Of course, there are still thrashing drums (»Fingers of Steel«) and nervously twitching guitars (»Yankees«), but the quintet also sings cautiously together over and again, as they do on the jangly final piece »All The People«. The album’s high point, however, comes in the middle of the record with the desperate drug anthem »Adderall«. And it answers the never-before-asked question of what would have happened if Weezer had written their super hit »Say It Ain’t So« as angry Brits today. This would also clear that up once and for all.