Blood Red Shoes – In Time To Voices
This is now the third LP from energetic alt-rock duo Blood Red Shoes. The Brighton band have enjoyed solid growth since the release of their debut album Box of Secrets back in 2008. Their brand new offering, In Time To Voices, was recorded at the Motor Museum studios in Liverpool, with the band continuing their partnership with Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, Tribes, Foals), who co-produced the album alongside them.
Beginning with the title track In Time To Voices – a catchy yet powerful song full of punk attitude and heavy chord progressions – the album immediately presents itself as a more intricate and dynamic offering than the band’s previous album Fire Like This. However, it makes sure to maintain the band’s anarchistic mindset and unmistakeable swagger.
The first single, Cold, begins with a swirling drum beat reminiscent of early Arctic Monkeys’ rhythms. Guitarist Laura-Mary Carter’s howling vocals and fuzzy riffs carry the anthemic chorus, with drummer Steven Ansell reviving the punk imagery through his vocal edge and percussive power. Two Dead Minutes combines an eerie synth line with the band’s vocals, mixing them together effortlessly and creating possibly the greatest atmosphere of clarity on the album. Even as one of the more relaxed songs on offer, it suddenly descends into a percussion driven wall of sound, evoking memories of My Bloody Valentine and proving the album to be full of surprises.
Silence And The Drones is a definite standout track – it’s where the band shines both lyrically and musically. Carter shyly creates the narrative with “The silence and the drones / The only things he knows”. Her clean guitar chords slowly rise in tempo, reaching a heavy and melancholic chorus. The final chorus is backed by strings, adding a surprisingly elegant layer to the band’s immensely expressive repetition of “Let me please forget”.
Je Me Perds (French for “I Lose Myself”) is one and a half minutes of pure punk chaos. Erratic fuzz-drenched riffs are wrapped around distorted vocals, becoming increasingly similar to early Queens of the Stone Age. Slip Into Blue then reaffirms the eerily beautiful nature of the album’s mood. It maintains an entrancing spookiness, with both band members sharing vocal duties. Carter’s voice is layered perfectly to both enhance the mood and to add a crisp clarity. A clean guitar line soaked in heavy vibrato leads the song into its powerful final phrases, and leads the album into its final stages.
A casual listener may deem some of the album to be slightly predictable, and may identify a lack of variation in the guitar sound. However, In Time To Voices needs a few listens in order to grasp its intricacies. Blood Red Shoes have taken many steps forward with this latest LP, in terms of both song writing and musicianship. They have in many ways remained true to their punk and grunge roots, yet have also proved themselves to be quite innovative.