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Shame Club at SXSW

Whenever my fellow St. Louisans asked if I liked local favs Shame Club, my standard response was “I like them as dudes, but I just can’t hang with their tunes.” I’d last seen the band a couple of years ago and wasn’t impressed. It wasn’t at all bad, I just didn’t *get it*. And you know what’s a damn shame? That I had to come all the way to Austin to find out that my hometown band is bitchin’ after all.

I went to see the band at the Small Stone Records showcase last night and was not at all prepared for the bombastic blast. Each band member is electrifying and the dynamic combination produces everything you could want in a hard rock band: shredding guitar licks, thumping bass grooves, evil drum beats and wailing vocals. Holy shit, I’ve seen the light.

Andrew Elstner, singer and guitarist for fellow St. Louis band Riddle of Steel was along for the trip as roadie/groupie/merch dude, and it was his band that gave me a revelation about a year ago. Let’s call it the Revelation of Steel. I’d also filed his band in the “cool, but not awesome” section in the list of local bands in my head. After not seeing the band for years, I accidentally caught it at a random bar show and they blew me away. Much to my delight, practice does, indeed, make perfect and the Riddle prompted me to go back to bands I’d previously avoided and give them a second listen.

So now the same thing has happened with Shame Club. A band that was previously alright is now super tight. Man, do I feel like a tool. Hey, Shame Club, I’m down with you. And I take back any smack I’ve ever spoken about any local band ever. Don’t disregard your hometown superstars, kids. They might just rock you.

— Jaime Lees