Blood Red Shoes – Blood Red Shoes Review

That big, bold and gritty guitar sound that is so widely spread at the moment through the likes of Royal Blood, Drenge, Family Rain, Deap Vally etc. is something that Blood Red Shoes were plying as far back as 2006 and 2007; long before it was ‘back in fashion’ so to speak. As they reach their fourth album they have spent the previous three threading complex and personal themes within them and in many cases they have became hailed for doing more than thrashing at guitars and crashing percussion and have made emotive and more profound music as a result. They spent a six month period in Berlin recording the album and this will have no doubt gave them a fresh focus and a slight seclusion that will have worked well for them during the recording process; giving them time to iron out any flaws or issues with the album.

‘An Animal’ is a song that is typically full of grinding guitars that have a added distortion to them with a high pitched buzzing lead riff backing it up. The percussion draws the sound out a little but the guitars make up a heavy block of the sounds being made. Steven takes up the lead vocal. A vocal that has really developed over the last seven years and he really holds his own at a different style of singing and less of the shouty style that he usually pulls off well. The distortion and out of focus recording of the vocals match up with the style of the guitars and evokes the aggression and urgency in the vocals even more so. The backing vocals from Laura-Mary also have a distortion to them that works well for the melodic effect  as well. The general method of the instrumentals are not so much different to their previous efforts and the key to this song is how it is recorded and the upbeat and bouncy nature of the rhythm and hooks that shows them in a different sort of dimension. ‘The Perfect Mess’ uses a really intense distortion to mould a completely different sound that is then joined by the heavy distortion to lead the song into it’s verse. The melodic and out of focus vocal of Laura-Mary Carter adds a slighter softer edge to sharpness of the song yet she still packs a punch in terms of power and attitude. The varying degrees of distortion are again the main feature here. The slow and gradual nature of the verses set up the chorus effectively for greater bursts of sound.

‘Cigarettes In The Dark’ feature a steady, flashing guitar sound and slow percussion. On top of this is Laura-Mary’s softer and more considered vocal with deliberately leaves the song vulnerable for the wall of sound that hits from the heavy distorted guitars. On top of this is the lead riff that tumbles down it. A more refined a varied track. ‘Tightwire’ is more of an alert piano ballad that presents the vocal abilities of both members but it does seem like a weaker link and the song does not really flow so well. ‘Teufelszunge’ is the distorted crashing and clashing track with the grinding guitars and less immediate and out of focus vocals. You do get the sense that they have really stuck to the production ideas of applying so much distortion a little too rigidly and have became too immersed within it. They are still able to channel emotion and more of a genuine feel that most other bands of a similar elk do not and while it is an all round solid album, you feel they have missed an opportunity and it could have been much better.

Blood Red Shoes – Blood Red Shoes = 7/10

File:Blood Red Shoes Self-Titled Album Cover.jpg

Images from www.bloodredshoes.co.uk / http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki

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