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The unmistakable sound of Killing Pickle kicks off this long-awaited album from alt-rockers Book Of Shame. Their self-tilted project compiles eleven original tracks, each of which follows its own uniquely creative pathway, yet always holding close to this expressive and often poetic style that is the Book Of Shame approach to songwriting.

Those solo vocals, intense and original, backed up by a spacious punk-rock aura, are impossible to forget – a further testament to the band’s strength of songwriting; the second time you visit any one of these songs, there’s something quickly recognisable about them. Killing Pickle will likely always be a personal favorite, but the rest of this new playlist goes onto weave equally engaging webs around its listeners.

I Think I Love You strikes up a funk-driven vibe, rhythmic and optimistic, still with that gritty indie-rock aura that is the band’s musicality. The lyrics emerge as long-form storytellers now, captivating from the offset and managing to maintain that interest as the energy and intensity rise. An absolute anthem of a track, alternative enough to strike up a mildly theatrical mood, yet also musically satisfying enough to overthrow the squeaky clean sound of today in a bold and beautiful way.

Compatibility is one of the band’s more delicate and considerate, near-whispered offerings – an ambient moment that proves well-placed within the album. Dreamlike riffs and details rain down peacefully, meanwhile the lyrics intrigue and connect in a deeply human yet genuinely original manner.

Barcelona follows and the band tick yet another box with a stunning acoustic guitar performance – setting the scene well for the Spain-based story-line. Once again, rising energy and intensity emerge by means of a brilliantly expressive leading voice. The connection between the band and their audience grows stronger still. You start to sense that a live show is where these songs would really come to life.

Ding Dong is a definite highlight, a big-band set-up accompanies a clear-cut vocal and a melody that’s quickly anthem-like. The multi-coloured ambiance and the slight familiarity of certain phrases helps create a subtly addictive composition that’s a pleasure to re-visit again and again. Conceptually there’s also plenty to consider and appreciate. Inertia then presents an Americana-meets-trip hop moment of peaceful reflection and metaphor – another completely unexpected yet fitting side to the band.

During the latter half, Let Me Go stands tall on the strength of those three words and a quietly intense set-up – slowly but surely entrancing and engaging the listener for a provocative and fascinating audio experience. Drifting then keeps the mood mellow, a simple and beautiful guitar line, a few distant synth tones, and a stunning vocal that leads with folk-like depth and a subsequently juxtaposed level of intensity and desperation.

Damned is another track in which the vocal meanders between beautifully gentle and passionately characterful. By now you know the sound, you trust the tone and the style. There’s a gorgeous guitar-led ambiance to this one, kissed by just enough reverb and distance, which backs up the poetic imagery and uniquely bizarre yet beautiful lyricism. Absolutely one worth listening to more than once before you move on – another highlight, another personal favourite.

At the penultimate moment, Ponytail Blues injects a hit of haunting theatrics and monologue-like delivery that quickly grabs attention. As is the Book Of Shame way, the song evolves brilliantly – rising up to see multiple layers of audio and passion intertwine and collaborate.

Hope and Glory follows and brings the album to a gritty yet mighty finish. For one last time, you’re prompted to consider the live show – and to turn up the speakers and completely lose yourself in the story and performance. A striking finish to a project that paves its own way and stands out by a mile amidst today’s musical landscape.

Book Of Shame are categorically an act who skillfully walk the line between eclectic and self-assured – knowing precisely who they are, how they want to sound, yet also offering up a consistently interesting and often surprising album that never once becomes tiresome. On the contrary, these songs get more and more enjoyable as they progress.

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Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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