Nightshame – Shame EP (Nightshame)
Italy’s Nightshame take inspiration from the Stooges and ’70s proto-punk on their new self-released 9-track EP. Glenn Airey gets an earful.
Formed in 2011 in the Tuscan port town of Livorno, Nightshame are one of hundreds of bands whose lineage can be directly traced back to the original, eternal punk rock fountain of the Stooges.
Their current EP Shame demonstrates that they are among the very best. Their secret is to leave the magic of the Michigan prototype largely undisturbed. This is easier said than done, of course. Few bands have the chops and the confidence to let rip like this and leave themselves open to the unflattering comparisons that might reasonably be expected to follow, especially when the sleeve notes proudly give thanks to J. Osterberg himself.
But here’s the crux: Nightshame don’t sound remotely second-hand. They can justly claim to be tapping into the same primal impulses that drove the Stooges, and indeed have driven all great punk rock ever since. Singer Bill Jama channels the same shamanic entity that possessed Iggy in his Funhouse-era prime, while his band tears through these twenty minutes of primitive rock n roll with an urgency that leaves you in no doubt they’re the real thing. If they don’t get this heathen racket out of their systems NOW then bad things are going to happen. There’s no time for showing off, no time for overdubs, no time for multiple takes. All that’s left is the thrill.
Bill sings in English, or at least in that rock n roll strand of the language perfected and bequeathed to the world by J. Osterberg, and the lyrical themes are appropriately introspective and nihilistic.
Nightshame’s mission statement can be summarised as: I don’t care, I’m bored, I need a girl and I hate you. I’m sure I don’t need to point out that this isn’t a criticism; simply an observation that once again Nightshame get it right. There may come a time in their career when they stray from the true path and overdo the showbiz machismo a bit like, I dunno, the Dictators, or crack under the temptation to fill some space with keyboards like even the sainted Mudhoney have been known to do, but that time isn’t now and Shame remains blissfully unburdened by such nonessentials.
The fact that four young Italians feel driven to make a punk record as pure and explosive as this in 2013 should tell you that this isn’t about fashion and it’s not about imitation. It’s not even about reverence for their punk rock predecessors. Nightshame are buzzing on the same sheer, headbanging restlessness and frustration that has been the motivation behind punk rock since before the phrase was even coined, and is clearly not in any danger of running out. That they’ve nailed it so instinctively does them great credit.
Do check them out on the links below.