Monday, 19 March 2012

Review: Blood Red Shoes - In Time To Voices

 Post punk duo Blood Red Shoes are yet to find themselves in a position of titans among fellow post punk duos such as The White Stripes, The Black Keys and The Kills, but their ongoing sense of passion and willingness to succeed in the realms of rock and roll is commendable. There's always something of a more human element when listening to them  both in and out of the studio. There's always a sense of genuine willingness to become rock and roll giants within them and it's a much more likable factor than the constant poseur-based swagger of their fellow peers.

 That's not to say they don't carry a sense of effortless coolness amongst them as well, because they definitely do that. Their third album In Time To Voices, then is the group's strongest effort to date, showing the chilled out swagger and sense of emotional passion all coming together and taken up to a much higher level. And so, listeners are presented with a collection of glorious alt rock songs filled with distortion drenched melodies and emotional impacts be it joyful or chilling.
 The performance of Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell is alight in the scuzzy rock n' roll swagger in which it's delivered and the pounding riffs that Carter hammers out in tracks like Cold and Down Here in the Dark are reminiscent of some of the later work of Queens of the Stone Age but with more bite attached, while influences from Josh Homme's earlier days and the more hyper moments of Nirvana come out the short but impacting Je Me Perds, a real display of punk adrenaline and intensity. Plus the more ethereal performances and soundscaping that comes out on the likes of Night Light and 7 Years means that their Pixies influence cannot be denied either. The vocal performances of Carter and Ansell are crucial in creating the perfect musical atmosphere whether they intend to make listeners feel warm and touched in their performance or leave them feeling in the exact opposite state of mind with use of haunting harmonies.
 Anyway, it's probably best to not totally elaborate on bands they sound like, although the heritage of modern rock bands is a crucial element across this album. The dirty rock and roll swagger paired with the shimmering production that the duo took part in, in accompaniment with Mike Crossey (Razorlight, Arctic Monkeys) makes the overall sound very unique and the bizarre combination of distortion riffs and buzzing synthesizers takes the music to new areas atmospherically, only to heighten the immense power of their melodies.
 So, on In Time To Voices, what have Blood Red Shoes created? Their post punk performances means the music has a raw and rough edge but also manages to stay smooth and swaggering thanks to great production. They manage to play heavy, but there's also a delicate nature contained as well and the rush of emotion put on this album is also particularly major. So, what they have created is an album which expresses pretty much what modern rock music should sound like, while keeping hold of what makes that classic rock sound so unforgettable. I think it's time this duo move into the big league.

 Blood Red Shoes' In Time To Voices is out on the 26th of March via V2 Records. The band will tour the UK from April-May with The Cast of Cheers and will play the Reading and Leeds Festival in August.

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