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Album Review: Blood Red Shoes by Blood Red Shoes

Alt rock duo Blood Red Shoes released their fourth album on the 3rd March this year. Going for the self titled approach Blood Red Shoes is a bold statement building upon the previous three albums. The self titling of the new album mirrors the approach taken to the album, completely self recorded, produced and engineered over a six month period in Berlin.

The result is a snappy dirty rock album. The guitars sound bigger and fuzzier than any of their previous work. The whole album is awash in big distorted ballsy guitar riffs. What Blood Red Shoes have added riffs they haven’t lost in hooks. Every track is just as catchy and instantaneous as AD had come to expect.

The mix of female and male led vocals adds an element of unexpectedness to each track. Where before drummer/vocalist Steve Ansell’s vocals may have played second fiddle, they take more of a passenger seat here. ‘An Animal’ is an early highlight where Ansell leads the track. The hooks sink in at this stage and never let go.

One of Blood Red Shoes’ main strength was always the guitar playing and sumptuous vocals of Laura-Mary Carter. ‘Grey Smoke’ showcases the power of both. It’s a wonderfully catchy riff laden song. ‘Far Away’ has fuzzy guitars galore. Here the duel vocals of Ansell and Carter complement each other perfectly. It’s magnificently poppy and undeniably one of the best Alt Rock tracks of 2014.

‘The Perfect Mess’ is reminiscent of early Yeah Yeah Yeahs (whenever they were still a great rock band). It’s raucous and heavy, a track that will fire life into many a summer festival. ‘Behind A Wall’ takes a slightly more laid back approach churning over for a minute and a half until those fuzzy guitars and pounding drums come back into play.

‘Speech Coma’ is yet another highlight. As you’ve come to expect by this stage the duel vocals add a great dynamic while the guitars swirl and rage over the thumping drum line. They both come together to close the track with a visceral noise.

‘Tightwire’ is a brilliant end to a superb album. Ansell’s brooding singing cover a piano introduction before Carter adds her impassioned vocal. The track manages to be a epic masterpiece tightly squeezed into 2minute 47seconds.

Blood Red Shoes is a fantastic album proving that after four albums this duo are at the peak of their careers and can confidently say this is their best piece of work yet.

AD rating 8.5/10

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