If you managed to watch the Olympics Opening Ceremony in London – despite NBC’s insane decision to air it six hours late – you’ll know that Britain has one of the most diverse and productive musical track records in the history of rock’n’roll. Everyone from Led Zeppelin to The Beatles has their roots in its green and pleasant land – and that legacy hasn’t ended yet. With the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and Two Door Cinema Club playing during the ceremony, it’s clear that some of Britain’s best music is still to come.
The UK’s Blood Red Shoes are no exception to that statement, and with latest album In Time To Voices – their third – it’s clear that they have their sights set on distant shores. Anyone who knows their first two albums will be familiar with their driven punk-pop sound, powered by the slight duo of Laura-May Carter and Steven Ansell, but this is the point where they start to expand their horizons and add new layers on top of the punk foundations.
In Time To Voices is still unmistakably a Blood Red Shoes record, from the growling guitars to the eerie juxtaposition of Carter’s and Ansell’s voices. But there’s an added maturity to the songwriting that gives them a new depth and resonance, drawing upon everything from the Rolling Stones to My Bloody Valentine for its inspiration. That new breadth of sound can be heard from start to finish, and it turns In Time To Voices into a more varied and complete record than either of their previous releases, even if it occasionally loses some of its intensity along the way. The Pixies’ loud-quiet-loud aesthetic applies just as well to albums as it does to individual song structures.
Stand-out songs include first single ‘Cold’, the breakneck punk of ‘Je Me Perds’, and the haunting title track. For once, however, In Time To Voices is an album that rewards a listen from start to finish, rather than dipping in and out for individual tracks. And in this age of mp3 downloads and instant Idol-ization, that can only be a good thing.
In Time To Voices is available now from V2/Cooperative Music.