“How can two mere mortals make such a heavenly racket”
Blood Red Shoes are into taking risks at the moment. In 2013 Laura Mary Carter and Steven Ansell took a year off from playing UK shows and decamped to Berlin with the sole intention of recording new music. For a band who had previously lived and breathed on the road it was a bold statement.
This new found confidence saw them leaving V2 the label that nurtured the bands origins, and instead create their own imprint Jazz Life in which to release a self titled 4th album. Music described by themselves as their “rawest, heaviest, sexiest and most confident sounding record so far”
Blood Red Shoes: An Animal
‘Blood Red Shoes’ opening track is ‘Welcome Home’ a powerhouse instrumental. Loud, assured and full on, it serves purpose as a solid welcome back leaving you wondering once again how can two mere mortals make such a heavenly racket. Never ones to suffer creatively as a duo, here on record number 4 they really do sound like a full band.
‘Everything All At Once’ indeed occasionally sounds like it’s title suggests albeit with a chorus so good it demands to be a single release. Current release ‘An Animal’ drives along nicely on huge punk riffs and Ansell’s relentless drum sound.
It isn’t until track 4 starts that you realise how good a singer Laura Mary actually is and ‘Grey Smoke’ is the first song on ‘Blood Red Shoes’ to prominently feature her voice.
‘The Perfect Mess’ was leaked via a quirky fan competition, it remains a highlight of the album due to it being tight, slinky and just a little bit sexy, not words I often use to describe a song..
Album closing tracks ‘Cigarettes In The Dark’ and ‘Tightwire’ slow things down beautifully and recall memories of ‘In Time To Voices’
Blood Red Shoes: The Perfect Mess
Experimenting with their music often works for BRS, here ‘Stranger’ unveils a slower, jangly sound that is witchy and spooky enough to soundtrack a Hollywood thriller. Occasionally it doesn’t work as well and a song comes out as merely “alright” in comparison to other material. Take previous release ‘Water’ EP as an example, ‘Red River’ was one of the greatest songs any band has recorded whilst ‘Black Distractions and ‘Idle Hands’ were just very good.
Before you load the shotguns & release the hounds, allow me to elaborate, Blood Red Shoes unleashed a debut so magnificent ( Box Of Secrets) it has been a struggle to maintain that quota of brilliant songs per album ever since.
It is a pointless criticism though, Blood Red Shoes are an amazing band, a sensational live act and two very lovely human beings. They consistently raise the bar and remain quite peerless, so to scrutinise further is ridiculous.
A good solid record, If marks have to be given (they do, the editor insists) then it’s a 7.5/10