Blood Red Shoes
In Time To Voices


3.5
great

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
March 27th, 2012 | 52 replies | 7,017 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: These Blood Red Shoes are "Cold" "Down Here In The Dark".

Whether out of laziness or Trans-Atlantic parochialism, English boy-girl duo Blood Red Shoes have previously been compared to the likes of The White Stripes and The Kills. A more fitting comparison would be fellow Brits The Subways and The Joy Formidable, with the Brighton pair not quite as poppy as the former, nor as experimental as the latter. Granted, there were clear signs of progression into something altogether a little more moody and adventurous on their solid second full-length release ‘Fire Like This’, but it ultimately felt a little too scripted, with the title of highlight lead single ‘Light It Up’ probably giving away more than it intended. Third time around on ‘In Time To Voices’, however, and the song titles say even more: ‘Cold’, ‘Two Dead Minutes’, 'The Silence and the Drones’, ‘Night Light’ and ‘Down Here In The Dark’. “Dark” indeed.

An all-encompassing opener, the title track here is perfectly placed. Guitarist Laura-Mary Carter’s voice sounds simultaneously haunting and ominous, while her layered backing vocals add a nice subdued harmony. The outfit’s usual quiet-loud dynamics are once more on display, but maturity and natural growth mean that they feel more natural, even when the predictably raucous chorus appears. In an effective showcase for the duo’s much-vaunted boy-girl vocals, drummer Steven Ansell takes the lead on the following ‘Lost Kids’, before the two superbly trade off against each other on lead single ‘Cold’. It is here where Blood Red Shoes get the balance of atmosphere and hooks just right, with fuzzy, distorted guitar and rollicking drum rolls beautifully meshing with catchy melodies and anthemic vocals. From there onwards though, ‘In Time To Voices’ morphs into a completely different beast...

Despite containing instruments as varied as synths and acoustic guitar, the three track stretch which makes up the album’s second quarter is Blood Red Shoes at their most ambitious. Best described as “icy”, these slow-burning – if not lengthy - ballads are oddly captivating in a chilling manner, even if the band do not exactly excel when the pace is languid and the music sparse. Co-producing with Mike Crossey (Foals, Arctic Monkeys), the duo expertly mix and layer both the instrumental and vocal work, a fact which pays dividends on the LP's second half. The closing trio of tunes especially benefit by enabling the labyrinth of understated melodies and harmonies to gradually reveal themselves, and give the album a satisfying growth factor. Furthermore, on closer ‘7 Years’, the way in which Carter’s backing vocals add harmony in much the same manner as on the opener, gives ‘In Time To Voices’ a nice feel of a cohesive voyage.

“So what is the issue” you may all be asking? Well, there is unfortunately still a general feeling that all of the ingredients do not come together often enough on ‘In Time To Voices’. That aforementioned balance when speaking of ‘Cold’ only surfaces sporadically, with hooks occasionally falling a little too flat and placing an over-reliance on insistent repetition to get the job done. Conversely, few of the darker, more experimental songs are individually memorable, more playing their role for the greater good of the bigger picture. It ultimately leaves this album as a contradictory conundrum... It is more than an admirable attempt at growth, since it's expansively fuller sound IS growth. And yet, one cannot help but get the feeling that Blood Red Shoes are still capable of much better. We can only hope that 'In Time To Voices' is a stepping stone and not the final destination.

Recommended Tracks: Cold, In Time To Voices, 7 Years & Slip Into Blue.



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user ratings (41)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Ali CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
Another sidestep, but a thoroughly enjoyable one nonetheless....


Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2012



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Tough review to write.

Apologies for the puntastic summary.

DoubtGin
March 26th 2012



6687 Comments


that summary

Been hearing a lot about these guys so I will most likely check this out. Never listened to their rest, how does this one compare?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2012



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is their darkest, least accessible album. If you're more into shoe-gazey kind of stuff, you can start here with them. Otherwise, it would be best to start at the beginning.

DoubtGin
March 26th 2012



6687 Comments


Cool, thanks. I' think I'll start with this one, then.

Also, nice review. Would pos if I could.

dannyboy89
March 26th 2012



8162 Comments


I've never heard of these guys, and I doubt I would spend my time hearing this, seeing as it's ranked a 3.5.

Digging: The Mothers of Invention - One Size Fits All

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2012



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks DG. Hope you enjoy.

Dannyboy, you may like some of their singles, but that's about it.

Gee, it's a very dark looking featured section on the front page at the moment.

Tyrael
March 27th 2012



20442 Comments


These Blood Red Shoes are "Cold" "Down Here In The Dark".

Oh please

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2012



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I couldn't come up with anything else. It was initially just gonna be "Down Here in the Dark".

David Bereuther
March 27th 2012



10 Comments


I think I will check them out though it's just a 3.5. who cares ;)

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2012



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I know, just a 3.5 huh? I mean, it's not like a 74 out of 100 or anything!

FelixCulpa
March 27th 2012



1236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Swell review Davey. Hopefully some more people will check this out.

Also here's the video for Cold

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2012



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks FC... And yeah, for anyone interested - but unsure - click on the word Cold above.

FelixCulpa
March 27th 2012



1236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah using that BB-code doesn't make the link very distinct from any of the other words but it is smoother than just posting the whole link.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2012



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I usually post the whole link... But that's more because I am technoligically challenged.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 28th 2012



7263 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Awesome review as ever Davey, seems like we more or less agree on this.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
March 28th 2012



6251 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Nice read. I'll probably check this out sometimes, but I really can't be arsed atm

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2012



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Ali... And I agree that we agree. We both hold their debut as their best too.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2012



6251 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yuck

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2012



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ooh, sounds like it would have been better had you not been "arsed".

Tyrael
April 1st 2012



20442 Comments


Stop kicking that poor clercqster devya



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