Running back to their early beginnings has left Blood Red Shoes in a bit of a mess.
Blood Red Shoes fourth album loaded itself with the band’s first two LPs harder, more powerful Rock efforts which should have earned the band higher praise than the very little they received, even with the aid of Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World promoting the bands first album. But the first two LPs live, set the standards for the band so high, that from their albums, the songs sound completely different.
A lot of bands share this dilemma of performing live, 10 times better than they sound on their albums. Blood Red Shoes’ dilemma is that their Rock/Punk-Rock mix is brought to life live, when on this self titled effort, everything is trying to sound heavy, loud and in your face rather than focusing on the bands brilliant skills that they seem to be able to transfer to the stage effortlessly, which leaves Blood Red Shoes sounding a bit dated.
Grey Smoke and Speech Coma manage to steal some of the bands live prowess, weaving in and out of climbing verses to eruptive choruses of catastrophic proportions. Grey Smoke screams and yells Punk with ear splitting noisecore assets, whilst Speech Coma, is head shakingly vibrant Rock with easy flowing rhythms ended with exploding instruments.
The Perfect Mess and An Animal boast the bands gritty, hard faced, rock edge, with monstrous instrumentation and perfectly matched lyrics. An Animal grasps Box Of Secrets rawness with toppings of Fire Like This, glaring devilishly across a sea of hopelessness, filled with vicious waves of killer hooks and chilling vocals. The Perfect Mess could have been a leftover track from In Time To Voices, with electrolysed guitars sounding more like they’re stuck in a subwoofer, crashing around inside with dangerous results.
The rest of the album follows Blood Red Shoes format of the longest song being the most tedious to listen to, with a small reward at the end (Stranger) and having several filler tracks before and after the albums singles (Everything All At Once, Far Away and Don’t Get Caught). It’s hardly attention grabbing. You’re not going to listen to this LP and want to hear more of the band because you think they’re brilliant. If you go hunting for more, it’s because you’re praying this album isn’t their best.