An indie rock band consisting of one male and one female member: both singing, one drumming, and one playing guitar, have just released a new album. Does it ring any bells? Jack and Meg White surely haven’t put down a new effort without informing everyone about it? No, this band is not The White Stripes.
This band is Blood Red Shoes.
A new and fresh duo has arisen: Brighton gave birth to the dual creativity of Steven Ansell and Laura-Mary Carter, about some 5 years ago. After their respective former bands broke up and the two decided ‘to have a jam’, Blood Red Shoes was there. It is, of course, impossible not compare these two young and willing Brits to their American inspirers. Lucky for them though, this band is not a clone by any means. The White Stripes have drawn their influences from the blues and punk scenes, where Blood Red Shoes make a fresh mix of 90’s alt rock with modern British indie. This was already shown on their 2008 debut, Box of Secrets, and they have slightly expanded it for Fire Like This.
A follow-up to a debut as always meant trouble, and the still heavily blooming indie scene in England is no exception. Favourite Worst Nightmare and A Weekend in the City, just to name two, were both disappointments after excellent debuts. Fire Like This is just so lucky not to fall into this category, and wisely does not attempt to make a shift in sound that is too sudden. It’s an excellent step two for Blood Red Shoes, a group that we can expect things of in the future. Their power lies in their easy-going charm: Carter and Ansell freely trade off or harmonize vocals, which complements their thin instrumental sound completely. Drums and guitar are often too little to carry a sound this proves not an issue either. While Carter’s voice is stronger and her edgy guitar lines often provide the main appeal to a song, Ansell’s vocal and percussion support is not at all a bore to listen to.
These two have got excellent chemistry; a force a duo logically lives or dies by, and they keep supplying it in more than sufficient amounts. Fire Like This is very, very consistent indeed, and probably even an improvement from Box of Secrets. It has that typical British wit everyone loves (or not), and sets itself apart from its contemporaries by proving a sparse instrumentation can still provide a full sound. By no means, this band or is extraordinary in the scene, and neither is it trying to be. Blood Red Shoes is a band that plays just because it’s all good fun and they enjoy it. And you can hear that.
When We Wake
Keeping It Close
Count Me Out
I was gonna review this but I pretty much agree so there's no point really.
Great review, great band, great album, about on par with their first imo
I think this is definitely a step up. I like how Carter shows more of herself whereas Box of Secrets featured her mainly on backing vocals. They clearly developed their sound since then. I saw you had done that already, otherwise I would have probably done that one as well.
Great band, good review...but dude...calling "Favourite Worst Nightmare" a disappointment is pure opinion. Some of the British mags ripped on it, but alot of the others thought it was genius...prolly cuz it is.
It was always going to be interesting to see how English duo Blood Red Shoes progressed from their impressive - if a little samey - debut album... And for the most part, they do just fine on 2nd LP 'Fire Like This'. Filled with more raw, energetic & catchy alt-rock that is highlighted by its boy-girl vocals, there is a little more experimentation with their quiet-loud dynamic & tempos here, making this release less immediate than its predecessor, but almost as good. Whilst nothing ground-breaking, 'Fire Like This' is still a satisfying LP from a young band who continue to mature. Recommended Tracks: Light It Up, Heartsink, Don't Ask & It Is Happening Again.