Blood Red Shoes - Blood Red Shoes (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Blood Red Shoes

Blood Red Shoes (2014)

Jazz Life

Blood Red Shoes, the duo from Brighton, England, have released four studio albums, the newest of which is the self-titled Blood Red Shoes. The band, made up of guitarist/vocalist Laura-Mary Carter and drummer/vocalist Steven Ansell, are a bit alternative rock, a little noise-rock, a little garage revival. Blood Red Shoes itself, at times, rocks as hard as Fire Like This, but has its slower side, as well, balancing things out.

Blood Red Shoes starts off with “Welcome Home,” an almost two minute instrumental intro to the album. It’s quick, it’s hard and it’s noisy, setting the standard for the first few songs on the album. The next two tracks, “Everything All At Once” and “An Animal” are definite highlights of the album. “An Animal,” the second single off the album, is one of the most memorable tracks off the album. It’s short, quick and to the point, with lyrics such as “Keep me out of this uniform, I don’t know what I’m wearing it for.”

“Grey Smoke," up next, slows things down quite a bit. It’s the first track on the album to really throw the spotlight onto Laura-Mary Carter’s vocals. Her vocals are strong, with a wide range; it’s a haunting kind of voice, capable of sounding both perfectly indifferent and emotional. The track also features the female/male dynamic of Carter and Ansell’s vocals together, another one of the highlights of not only this album, but all Blood Red Shoes albums. “Far Away” follows suit, another slower track. “The Perfect Mess,” the first single off of the album, speeds things up a little more, with catchy, noisy guitar riffs and harder vocals and drum beats. A little further along, “Stranger” once again features haunting vocals and repetitive riffs, building up into an explosive chorus.

“Cigarettes in the Dark” is another highlight track on the album, a little slower, with both repetitive (and catchy) riffs and heavy guitars… and, of course, powerful vocals. The song builds, and reaches its peak in the bridge before fading back into the intro. The album comes to its conclusion with “Tightwire,” another slow track. But the album doesn't necessarily end there: as a bonus, the Deluxe Edition of the album features fourteen live tracks, including “It’s Getting Boring By The Sea” (featured in "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World"), and “In Time To Voices,” the title track off of their previous album.

Blood Red Shoes is an album that switches gears between heavy rock tracks and slower, intense ones. The duo have a surprisingly large sound, boasting heavy guitar and excellent vocal dynamics, resulting in several great tracks, easily surpassing the standard set out by their previous albums.