Yeah, indie rock is dead. That’s why the wombats indulge in trivial synth pop banter, haunting the Arctic Monkeys somewhere in the emptiness between lounge music and jazz and betting their classic at Bloc Party “Silent Alarm” immediately in a second slide, after the experimental grip “Hymns” went completely into the toilet – with the old stuff it is just fine. The indestructible rock band has not gotten too far from its core to remain interesting and relevant, but can help with songwriting self-education, Brighton’s Blood Red Shoes have been demonstrating for a decade and a half. The debut album “Box Of Secrets” played in 2008 still every register of the “Class Of 2005” – fleet, danceable grooves, catchy melodies, Geschrammel. “Fire Like This” then developed this sound a little bit further, but sometimes gave it a bit more bulky. This somewhat inaccessible side showed the duo even more clearly on the grim “In Time To Voices”. Similarly depressing, but a bit more driving and harder, finally came in 2014, the self-titled fourth long player, who impressively showed that the band is probably more relevant than ever – an attribute that not many acts after four studio albums share. The core of the duo has always been preserved in the course of this development: Dominant is always the vocally outstanding interaction of drummer Steven Ansells and guitarist Laura-Mary Carter, as well as the guitar-driven instrumental.
The two creative minds are behind for almost four years Blood Red Shoes now left time for the successor. After the tours to the record one is fed up with each other – at least that’s what the press text of “Get Tragic” claims, as the fifth album of the project is now called. So it takes some time to return, material is written, discarded, rewritten. Already in 2017, the band released their first single with “Eye To Eye” – the song also takes place in a slightly different recording on the final product. There are more songs to follow. Two songs released last year do not end up on the finished album, which contains ten tracks and an interlude. In single form, five of them are already known before album release. During the recording of “Get Tragic”, the band wants to experiment with synthesizers and electronic elements, the current live performances are completed for the first time four. So, is the fifth Blood Red Shoes album, with so much change, the first to measure the core of the band?
So now look at the album. This begins with “Eye To Eye”, “Mexican Dress” and “Bangsar” with three preliminary releases, all of which turn out to be true indie earwigs and do not even want to say goodbye to their own ears. Sure, in the production you come across a lot more synthesizers, the well-known danceable beats and groovy guitars are also found. In “Nearer” then enclose a much more electronic elements for the first time. However, they carry the ever-increasing song so well that only after a few passes does it become apparent how much the band must have experimented with here. “Beverly” and “Find My Own Remorse” then slow down for the first time and become more melancholic. Carter sniffs, Ansell sounds almost like a cocky Alex Turner. Conspicuous here is also the increased use of electronic drum computers.
“Howl” then represents a symbiosis of the two Blood Red Shoes worlds, is supported by a playful bass line, but was in production of a variety of synths greasy, which works amazingly well. The band always manages not to slip into the EDM pop mainstream, but to incorporate new influences perfectly into their very own sound. That’s why a song like the gritty “Anxiety” can also stand alongside bulky pieces like the Closer “Elijah”.
On their social media profiles, the duo spoke of “Get Tragic” out of personal crises to have created – true to the motto “embrace your midlife crisis”. The plate clearly hears the fresh wind blowing through the project. However, where other acts forget what their strengths are, Blood Red Shoes skillfully decorates their new influences around their valuable secret formula, so that the inattentive listener may sometimes not notice the innovation. You have to do that first. Hats off!
You can buy the album “Get Tragic” here. *
And that sounds like this:
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Blood Red Shoes live 2019:
02.02. – Brussels, Le Botanique (sold out!) (BE)
03.02. – Gröningen, Vera (sold out!) (NL)
04.02. – Hamburg, Molotov (sold out!)
05.02. – Berlin, private club (sold out!)
06.02. – Amsterdam, Bitterzoet (sold out!) (NL)
01.06. – Dortmund, Way Back When Festival
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