Ten years after they first formed, Blood Red Shoes are releasing their fourth, self-titled, studio album. The record was recorded over 6 months and is produced and mixed by Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell, the only members of the Brighton based band.
The record kicks off with ‘Welcome Home’, a 2 minute music only track filled with fuzzy overtones and fast, menacing riffs that kickstart your heart. It truly feels like a punk rock introduction to both the record and the band, similar to the opening titles of a blockbuster movie. When the record then moves onto ‘Everything All At Once’, it’s clear to see the opening track set the theme for the album in terms of what sound they are portraying, with the shouting, echoey vocals mixed in with the aforementioned fuzzy riffs and outstanding drums.
‘Grey Smoke’ is the first song where Laura-Mary Carter takes hold of the vocal reins, crooning, snarling and moaning her way throughout the track, making it unmistakably one of the sexiest tracks on the record. Combined with distorted guitar solos, constant crashing cymbals and the feeling of “this would be incredible live”, it’s an instant favourite for fans old and new.
‘The Perfect Mess’ jumps straight into a new aesthetic with harsh electric spikes of noise blaring out abrasively from the get go. It fits in perfectly with their well established sound and works against other instruments and the softer vocals to be heard and almost could be said to be the lead vocals with their grinding yet somehow ugly appealing sound. The song itself gets more and more abrasive as it goes on to the point where the vocals begin blending in with the fuzz and crashing before the song cuts out. A short few seconds of what sounds like the end of a train announcement and road noise is then heard before quickly fading out, a complete dichotomy of the hyper frenzy of a song that just happened. It’s easy to see why this was picked as the lead single.
The cleanest sounding track on the album, as in omitting the majority of fuzzy riffs and vocals blasted through a bullhorn, is ‘Stranger’, which sounds more like a dream if anything. Sweet vocals mix with a simple, very System-Of-A-Down-esque riff that is heard throughout, with music that sounds like wisps of smoke in a drunken haze. It is a song that, once again, could very easily be seen as a song in a movie, the scene in which the protagonist has had a drop too much and is stumbling around the party with muted music and tripping feet. The pictures which each song paint are incredibly vivid, which is a brilliant skill for both Blood Red Shoes and the listeners.
The record closes with ‘Tightwire’, another cleaner track but this time including piano. It could almost be seen as the ballad of the album, with the lyrics telling of feeling as though you’ve left everything and being “weighed down” by multiple things and a slower pace compared to the majority of the tracks. The song is also short and ends with repeating the chorus multiple times yet does not leave the listener on a downer somehow, despite the content of the song, it feels more as though there is hope for the subject of the song to get everything back, an uplifting ideology of making your own fate if you feel as though you yourself are “hanging on a Tightwire”.