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Blood Red Shoes – In Time To Voices (Review)

Blood Red Shoes, In Time To Voices

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

BRIGHTON-based duo Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell, aka Blood Red Shoes, describe their third album In Time To Voices as their most ambitious record to date.

And there’s certainly a lot going on. At first glance, it seems to stick to a pretty simple formula… the music is, for the most part, fast, furious and loud, there’s a keen mix of punk and pop and hard rock, and they’re all delivered using an appealing mix of boy-girl vocals.

But while they claim to have drawn from the classing song-writing style of bands such as Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones, the vibe here is more akin to the likes of Ash, early Yeah Yeah Yeahs and even Paramore in places.

And yet, there’s still plenty to consider in the various tempo shifts and stylistic nuances on offer.

Album opener and title track sets the ball rolling in suitably emphatic fashion with Carter’s softer vocals suggesting a soft approach, before Ansell’s drums kick in and provide a thunderous edge. By the time it reaches its finale, there’s a real menace to offset the early melody… the instrumentals echoing the contrasts in the band’s vocal style to pleasing effect.

Lost Kids harks back to classic Ash, with emphatic riffs, foot-stomping beats and a rousing chorus. But lead single Cold delivers the album’s first really striking – and arguably best – moment with its vigorous guitars and heavier sound.

A former single of the week, it makes fantastic use of the boy-girl vocals and hits you with wave upon wave of rollicking riffs and pounding drums to genuinely exhilarate.

There’s a change of pace on Two Dead Minutes, which opts for a slow-burn approach complete with a hushed electronic backdrop and a muffled guitar sound that’s noteworthy, even if they can’t quite resist upping the ante during the final moments.

While the formula is repeated to even more atmospheric effect on Silence And The Drones, which flits between brooding and epic in convincing fashion.
Night Light lays down a dusky feel that maintains the slower pace of the middle section of the album, and again impresses with its more delicate boy-girl vocal exchange, before the pace is picked up with the angry Je Me Perds. It’s full of distorted, shouted vocals and probably finds Blood Red Shoes at their least appealing.

But then Stop Kicking gets things back on track with a dazzling mix of heavy, grungy guitars and easy-going melodies that provide a terrific backdrop to Ansell’s lead vocals, and Slip Into Blue combines acoustic guitars and distorted electrics for another mid-tempo offering that impresses.

By the time the album reaches its satisfying finale with 7 Years, you may well agree that Blood Red Shoes’ most ambitious undertaking yet is also their most consistent and best.

Download picks: In Time To Voices, Cold, Silence And The Drones, Night Light, Stop Kicking, Slip Into The Blue

Track listing:

  1. In Time To Voices
  2. Lost Kids
  3. Cold
  4. Two Dead Minutes
  5. Silence And The Drones
  6. Night Light
  7. Je Me Perds
  8. Stop Kicking
  9. Slip Into The Blue
  10. Down Here In The Dark
  11. 7 Years