Over the last couple of years several new punkish duos have gained prominence, such as the likes of No Age, Wavves and Japandroids. They have proved the credibilty of the minimalistic set up whilst making incumbent acts such as Brightons' Blood Red Shoes less of a novelty. Their latest output, Fire Like This has at least superficial pretenses to these contemeraries, by adding heavy distortion to fill out their sound with copious amounts of noise. Conversely they have embraced poppier lyrics and melodies than on their first LP Box of Secrets.
Some moments do come devilishly close to the aforementioned bands, such as the track Heartsink which has an immensley dense guitar riff carrying the song, and pretty much all of the closer Colours Fade. The penulemate track is one of the best of the new Blood Red Shoes, as their floaty la-la-la vocal melodies are hypnoticly repetitive against the aggressive double onslaught of Laura-Mary Carters guitar and Steven Ansells intense drumming.
Other moments, like the opener Don't Ask, wouldn't be out of place on their first album and at these times the album is the least interesting. Like every song on the album,the song descents into a frantically chaotic bridge where the duo, ironically, seem the most comfortable . Frustantingly, their raw energy is constained by the duo's use of simple pop verse-chorus structures which hinders their punk aesthetic.
Vocal cries are delivered from both members, but they are often contain inane and punk-by-numbers lyrics, which is unfortunate as their melodies do counterpoint each other and the music very effectively. Again, the forgetable lyrics do damage to the angry image they present.
Another sign of their progression is the use of strings, which are used on Follow the Lines and at the end of One More Empty Chair. In both instances the string are completely superfluous, as if they where added out of politeness due to a nagging friend. It also spoils the romantic image of just the two of them against the world.
Dispite this, their are many haunting moments to the album, most of which are created by the dreamy vocals floating above the effortlessly heavy riffs, epsecially at the end of Its Happening Again. Their change of direction is certainly brave of them, but in comparison to their aforementioned American counterparts they are not perhaps as original as they would imagine.
Hear the album here: