While not strictly falling into PM’s orbit, last year’s ‘In Time To Voices’ was definitely one of the more pleasant surprises to be unearthed in this particular corner of the planet that is mosh: a mixture of punk, indie and blues very much in the vein of White Stripes and Band Of Skulls – two bands with whom Blood Red Shoes actually have much in common: like the Stripes they are a duo (in this case with a spot of role reversal, with the sultry Laura-Mary Carter on vocals and guitar and Steven Ansell on drums), while like BOS they are from the south of England (in this case, Brighton).
Stylistically, ‘ITTV’ very much drew comparisons with the latter, as well as QOTSA and The Black Keys, with Carter’s voice in particular sounding something like you would imagine if you mashed together Kate Bush, PJ Harvey and Patti Smith.
This three track EP, while very much looking like a stop gap between albums but also reflecting BRS’s significant creative output, very much takes up where the last full-lengther left off, filled with dirty, edgy, gritty guitar sounds, distorted, psychedelic vocals and crushing rhythms.
Opener ‘Red River’ is one of the most commercial tracks the band have written and produced to date, but still retains the visceral, underlying aggression of, for example, the last album’s title track. It’s main riff is straight out of the Jack White playbook, while Carter’s vocal manages to retain a haunting beauty underneath its slap-you-in-the-face ballsiness. ‘Black Distractions’ sees Ansell take over lead vocal duties and is very much in the punky, grungy mien of QOTSA and Deftones, but with the melodic touches of classic English indie acts such as Blur and even the dreaded Oasis, while also referencing classic doom acts like Sabbath and Orange Goblin.
The final offering on this triptych of tunes, ‘Idle Hands’, is bruising yet catchy, mixing a hugely over-distorter guitar with a sensitive vocal duet, echoing the really pleasing late-Sixties vibe which characterizes the whole release.
Life may be a box chocolates left over from Christmas: if so, Blood Red Shoes are that surprisingly tasty little caramel over in the corner that you may have resisted on the grounds you didn’t know what it is but find it is a remarkably rewarding taste experience.
8/10 (only because I want more…)
1. Red River
2. Black Distractions
3. Idle Hands
‘Water’ is released on January 21st and can be pre-ordered via https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-water-single/id582644326. It will also be available on limited edition 10” vinyl, which you can get via http://www.recordstore.co.uk/recordstore/recordstore/Water-EP-Limited-Red-Vinyl/12DS20000000?back=search.html%3Fterm%3Dwater
Blood Red Shoes play Norwich Arts Centre on Monday January 21st and London Shepherd’s Bush Empire (with Rolo Tomassi and Wet Nuns) on Tuesday January 22nd. Ticket details from http://www.facebook.com/bloodredshoes/app_123966167614127
Visit Blood Red Shoes’ official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/bloodredshoes?fref=ts