An iron fist in their velvet glove...
David Renshaw
10:42 1st March 2010

Blood Red Shoes, by their own admission, were mistakenly perceived as being an indie band when they first emerged. This confused them as they’d spent their youth on the underground punk circuit in Brighton and London and to most ears were making a pretty aggressive brand of rock music totally at odds with the bands they were likened to and playing gigs with.

If the two piece’s debut ‘Box Of Secrets’ left some room for doubt as to where the band stood then its follow up ‘Fire Like This’ removes all questions about just what sort of a band Blood Red Shoes are. Noisy and serrated, ‘Fire Like This’ sees its creators in the mood for fighting, taking names and asking questions later. It’s a home run from the offset as the strings and skins of Laura Mary Carter and Steven Ansell are pummelled fast and hard. Still retaining the knack of a killer pop chorus Blood Red Shoes in 2010 are packing an iron fist in their velvet glove and their nasty side suits them well. ‘Light It Up’ for example, sounds a lot like the lost Nirvana classic ‘You Know You’re Right’ whilst the triumphant ‘It Is Happening Again’ is an adrenaline shot for an album already running at 100mph.

The band also veers into power ballad territory a few times, though obviously the emphasis being on power rather than ballad. Taking a step out of the fast lane suits the duo with ‘Count Me Out’ and ‘When We Wake’ showing a new found muscle behind the quick fire jabs of Blood Red Shoes standard fare. Things even take a turn for the epic on album closer ‘Colours Fade’ which, at seven minutes long, sees the band falling into a whirlwind of gritty noise and enchanting melody.

‘Fire Like This’ won’t win Blood Red Shoes any new fans. What it will do however is cement their relationship with those who truly love what this band do, making fast and hard punk rock with a keen ear for a chorus and the ability to melt the two together perfectly. Take them or leave them they don’t care but after hearing ‘Fire Like This’ you’ll never doubt Blood Red Shoes again.

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