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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really nice follow up from Box of Secrets,
Fire like this is the epic return of Blood Res Shoes after their debut album 'Box of Secrets' and what a follow up.
I remember fondly my short discourse with Steven Ansell last year where I [stupidly] questioned their recording techniques (to do with the distortion of the songs). After a short reply which kind of said that that was the whole aim of box of secrets I saw the whole thing in a new light.
Now Fire Like This picks up from box of secrets with the same wonderful sound that seems to have progressed to a somewhat cleaner performance without loosing any of its post punk pop charm :D
The lyrics are as poignant as ever and the album never really lets off and just keeps on building until the massive climax of 'colours fade'. Some people have complained about the length of the last song, I disagree I think it adds a certain mysticism to the album. It is a nice touch.
I don't want to go into too much detail but if you liked any of their prior material then go for it, this album is more of the same with a nice twist.
If you are new to the band I would say give it a try. Their sound kind of reminds me of Queens of the Stoneage riffs with a bit of Nine inch Nails earlier work with the stars singing (an odd mix i know)
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little Band - Big Noise,
I will admit to having been unaware of Blood Red Shoes existence
until I stumbled across their new album 'Fire Like This'.
They are Laura-May Carter, who sings and plays guitar and
Steven Ansell, who also sings and plays the drums.
I understand that these two young minstrels hail from Brighton
which probably accounts for not a little of their bohemian charm.
Their inoffensive punky-poppy sound has a surprisingly grand
presence given the limitations they have placed upon themselves
with the guitar/drums format. Sometimes the sound is very big indeed.
Their compositional formula is a fairly simple but sonically effective one.
Ms Carter cranks up some chunky energetic riffs, Mr Ansell pounds and
splashes away (sometimes for all he's worth!) behind his kit and either
one or the other of them takes the vocal lead to knit it all together.
Sometimes there are also some simple two-part harmonies to add
interest and density to the proceedings. It's not rocket-science.
The lyrical content of their songs leans towards the meaningful
(as befits the edgy social exposure provided by their seaside home).
On the whole the material is both entertaining and
sufficiently interesting to hold our attention.
Opening track 'Don't Ask' romps along like a new puppy trying
out its oversized paws for the first time. They capture a little
mid-seventies spirit with cunning charm although I cannot
imagine that either of them could have been even a glimmer
in their parents' eyes during that strangely heady era.
The past is there for all to pillage however and they do manage it
with a tad more imagination and verve than some of their forebears.
I particularly enjoyed 'Count Me Out'. Ms Carter conjures some huge
waves of sound from her chosen instrument and hurls them into the
air with conviction and palpable anger. Her "Woah Wo Ho" (approx)
vocal decorations in the chorus provide humorous contrast to the
sturm und drang of the wildly churning central musical motif.
Mr Ansell, too, has a moment or three of unbridled intensity on
the positively raucous 'Heartsink'. Occasionally his voice veers
perilously close to a nasal whine but it is impossible to doubt
both his enthusiasm and sincerity. (He is a far better percussionist
than he is a singer).
'One More Empty Chair', after its somewhat more relaxed and reflective
opening bars, digs down into yet another humongous grinding beat.
There are however flashes of delicacy in Ms Carter's vocal delivery which
add texture and variation to the contrived mayhem of the cardinal subject.
Final track 'Colours Fade' is perhaps the album's weakest idea.
It's not that it's a bad song, per se, it's more that it overstays
its welcome by at least three minutes.
If you like The Kills (I love them!) you may well enjoy Blood Red Shoes too.
With a little more of their close-cousins' dark energy 'Fire Like This' might
well have give Mr Hince and Ms Mosshart a run for their money.
An enjoyable album none-the-less.
6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody Red Brilliant,
Box Of Secrets, the debut album from Brighton's Blood Red Shoes, was solid enough, but here and there you felt like Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell were chasing a zeitgeist, pulling dance-punk moves because it was the in thing rather than because they, y'know, really felt it.
Not so with its follow-up, Fire Like This. Recorded on analogue equipment with minimal overdubs - a nod, perhaps, to the working methods of Steve Albini, producer of Nirvana's 1993 swansong In Utero, which Ansell has cited as a touchstone - this is a raw, unfussy rock record that forsakes gloss or studio tricks for instinct and urgency.
The analogue recording, as it happens, does a lot for Blood Red Shoes. Two-piece bands can sometimes feel a bit skinny - remember, they invented the bass guitar for a reason - but the likes of Don't Ask and It Is Happening Again see Laura-Mary's guitar invested with a surprising heft. Technically, too, Steven has picked up some tricks, his drumming hard-hitting but complex and creative enough to keep the songs hurtling along at a decent clip.
More surprisingly perhaps, for a record that trumpets its down-to-brass-tacks appeal, there is an impressive variety. Of course, there are anthems - see Keeping It Close and the excellent Count Me Out, which deploys quiet-loud dynamics like a fistful of tossed firecrackers. But there's also Colours Fade, a Sonic Youth-tinged squall of grizzly discord and cracked snare that sprawls out to an epic seven minutes. And special mention to Laura-Mary's When We Wake, a beautifully sung reflection on mortality that forsakes big rock moves for quiet choruses and raw feeling.
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