Blood Red Shoes - Blood Red Shoes - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Blood Red Shoes - Blood Red Shoes

by Jim Harris Rating:9 Release Date:2014-03-03

I love Blood Red Shoes. While they often get compared to The White Stripes or that hipster band, The Kills, the only real correlation is that they are boy/girl bands. In some respects this is like comparing Romeo and Juliet to Bonnie and Clyde. I think a more appropriate musical comparison can be made between Blood Red Shoes and The Raveonettes, and both of these bands have taken similar trajectories to their success.

The early albums of The Raveonettes were rich with Sune Rose Wagner’s enthusiasm for all sorts of influences from The Ronettes to Johnny Cash, and more of that hollow reverb-heavy 50s rockabilly stuff. But, as they progressed through the new millennium - around their 3rd or 4th LP - they settled into writing noise-thick dream pop gems that have been perfected on their latest release, Observator.

The same has happened to Blood Red Shoes. They futzed around - successfully I might add - with several song structures on their previous albums, and now they have nailed it. They rip and start and blast through every song like no one out there. The songs are hard-pounding and noise-laden, with either Laura-Mary Carter or Steven Ansel singing lead. When Laura-Mary sings lead I keep conjuring up Shirley Manson’s icy sexy inflections and well… (Let’s see, conjuring up a mingling of Laura-Mary and Shirley Manson… no wonder I keep playing this album over and over…Thank God Laura-Mary doesn’t sound like Stevie Nicks…) but then you add to the fact that Laura-Mary is ripping out this distortion and noise: It so works. Add a truly competent drummer instead of what Meg provided, or the tiresome drum machines pattering through a Kills song, and it's clear that Blood Red Shoes are best-of-breed in the genre of boy/girl bands.

I sometimes felt a little contention when Sune Rose Wagner would sing lead instead of Sharin Foo on certain songs, especially on The Raveonettes album, Lust Lust Lust.  But on Blood Red Shoes, when Steven Ansel takes the lead (‘An Animal’ for example) not only does he belt it out à la early Arctic Monkeys (before they became blues crooners), but it all seems what’s right for each song.  This is a band that knows where it’s going and running with it.

‘Welcome Home’ is a blistering instrumental to start the album off that instantly reminded me of the opening to 'Black Letter Days' by Frank Black. Structured chaos that is a brilliant prelude to a strong collection of energy-infused, punk-inspired, noise blasting rock and roll tunes. There’s even an ingenious slower tempo song, ‘Far Away’, that breaks the manic tension nicely (pretty much in the middle of the album). Works perfectly to let you catch your breath before Laura-Mary starts to scorch you again.

Regardless of where you click through the song list on this one, you won’t be disappointed. Blood Red Shoes have arrived and it’s time to take notice.

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