Blood Red Shoes are — and we’d forgotten they existed — one of those indie / alt rock bands who never quite hit the premier league; never quite as good as Foals or Bombay Bicycles, but still pretty decent. Their fans probably wonder why they’re not bigger; their last tour played Manchester Gorilla.
From what we can gather, the band’s Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell fell out after promoting the last album. “We finished touring and then we…” says Carter via a Press release. “We ***** hated each other is what you’re politely trying to say,” finishes Ansell.
The opening songs seem to reflect this, the album kicking off with Eye To Eye (as in “we don’t see”) and Mexican Dress, about a person whose presence dominates all the time, “sitting in the front seat singing songs” and “dancing like a fool … you’ve always got to be the one”.
Relationships aside, they had other issues, from sacking managers to being chased out of Wales, and then Carter broke her arm; this last fact is the most important as without her guitar they were forced to be more electronic and this is the first Blood Red Shoes release that nudges them towards that premier league, because of that.
The sound is grungier and darker.
Eye To Eye is a sleazy tune that reminded us of dance-era Goldfrapp while Mexican Dress opens with a glorious distorted riff. Bangsar (falling out in a foreign city, “I don’t need this / Throw me out the window”) is an early standout, the opening percussion and vocals over looped vocals before a glorious moshpit-pleasing rave chorus.
Nearer opens with another dirty synth riff, the main tune gloriously bass heavy, while Beverly heads off into weird electronica; early Human League came to our minds.
After this strong start Find My Own Remorse is a little weaker, and it’s a bit of a side one album: you’d play side one over and over, while side two remained in more pristine condition.
Having said that, of the later songs, Howl is decent, Anxiety as good as the earlier tracks.
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