Drunk Tank Pink

by Shame

Released January 15, 2021 via Dead Oceans

Reviewed January 27, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Station Wagon (56%), Born in Luton (50%), Snow Day (38%)

On Shame’s second album, the London five-piece channel feelings of nervousness and questions surrounding identity into a cataclysmic burst of energy. Driven by brilliantly frantic and jarring guitar work, supported by brooding, menacing, and splintering rhythms, the sound of Drunk Tank Pink breeds intense feelings of claustrophobia and anxiety as it swirls around the listener. This stands directly in opposition to the album’s title, which is a reference to a bubblegum-like shade of pink that is said to reduce feelings of hostility. This metaphorical butting of heads, and the ever-constant anxiety that is present in Shame’s music, is equally represented through Charlie Steen’s explosive and empowered vocal performances. The band’s rapid rise as one of post-punk biggest rising stars coincides with the members’ transition from adolescence to adulthood, and Drunk Tank Pink questions what this transition signifies and whether such transition truly even exists. – Dominick (9.3/10)

Having a rip-roaring pace, yet also moments that let you breathe, Drunk Tank Pink is a shining example of modern post-punk. Having been three hefty years since their debut, Shame’s members have experienced a lot. This isn’t so much reflected in the expansion of their sound, but their maturity. The optimistically conceptual spoken word verses are exchanged for reflective, unassuming passages that contribute to the greater design of each track; the vocals are less ambitious, yet intriguing and certainly refined; the riffs are less scathing, but multifaceted and catchy as hell. Shame are heading in the right direction, just in an unexpected way. – Cam (8/10)

Drunk Tank Pink is a gauntlet through a variety of clean, nimble, and energetic performances by the UK band. With rather seamless nature, tracks on this album are dynamic within themselves, yet tend to build the right transitional bridges between themselves as well. Instrumentally, Shame is a half-dozen minds coming together on several notes of multi-leveled synergy. The sound and progression of songs on Drunk Tank Pink are organized, coordinated, and simply take teamwork to execute. And the payoff is definitely here on this ambitious sophomore offering. – DeVán (8/10)

South London post-punk outfit Shame returns to the music world with their second album 'Drunk Tank Pink'. The up and comers, who made noise with ‘Songs of Praise’ in early 2018, muster up an album that avoids all the sophomore slump tropes - hurdling over them in fact. Shame have matured on ‘Drunk Tank Pink’, although they were relatively mature from the get-go. These new tracks host a new-found confidence - a knowing, an awareness. More focused and consistent, Shame narrows their eyes on a more danceable, rhythmic, and in some cases experimental output. Abrasive is paired with atonal, for a much larger spectrum of shapes and sounds. They're not resorting to aggression to get the point across, or to make the material come to life. The songs are worked in a way that aggression, in essence, is part of the track rather than a force upon it. This album takes inspiration from the more jangly, “out there” side of post-punk. It goes without saying that the Talking Heads have had their fair share of offspring over the last 40 years; Shame has made themselves a strong presence on that list with this record. They follow in the footsteps of their fellow post-punk compadres 'Fontaines D.C.' and upped the ante on their second full length. – Peter (8/10)


Dominick: 9.3/10 | Alan: 8.5/10 | Cam: 8/10 | DeVán: 8/10 | Peter: 8/10

Pax: 7.8/10 | Enth: 7.5/10 | Hadley: 7.5/10 | Jared: 6.5/10