Blood Red Shoes

Box of Secrets

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Blood Red Shoes are the Brighton, England-based duo of guitarist Laura-Mary Carter and drummer Steven Ansell. They met in 2004 while they were still in their late teens. After a few jam sessions, something clicked. They started writing songs together and in less than a week they had enough material to play a short set. They hit the road and never looked back, winning the hearts and minds of British dance-punks with their aggressive attack and bleak outlook. They put out a handful of singles on indie labels before being signed by a major label, but when they brought in producer Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, Razorlight), the major label dropped them. They continued recording and made this self-financed debut, soon picked up by England's V2 cooperative. "You Bring Me Down" is driven by Ansell's 4/4 drumming and guitars that sound like the sirens of emergency vehicles, and suggests an unholy union of New Order and the Buzzcocks. "Try Harder" has a slow, clanging, swampy sound and wailing vocals from the duo. "ADHD," one of their early singles, is reprised here with a slightly cleaner sound, without losing any of its fierce power. "It's Getting Boring by the Sea" has a catchy pop melody lurking under Ansell's pounding assault and Carter's grinding guitar attack. "This Is Not for You" is a modern girl group song, with the girl in question wielding a blowtorch guitar to complement her complaints about the frustrations of growing up in a decaying society. "I Wish I Was Someone Better" is a confession full of anger and confusion mirrored in the song's grinding guitar attack. The hook is repeated at the song's end as both a benediction and ironic taunt. Box of Secrets is rough, primal rock and surprisingly melodic for an album full of buzzsaw guitar and primordial drumming. Carter's particularly impressive for the driving basslines she generates from the guitar's low strings while driving the tunes forward with thick, distorted blocks of chords.

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