EP REVIEW: Blood Red Shoes – Ø
17 years ago, Laura-May Carter and Steven Ansell walked into a Brighton studio with the intentions of creating a rock band like no other. In 2021, it would not be an unjust statement to say over the course of their career, the duo have achieved just that with their own misty twist on rock music.
Blood Red Shoes is feeling evil – as their Facebook states. However, this could arguably be changed to Blood Red Shoes is feeling kind – as the surprise release of the brilliant Ø would suggest.
Often after five records, bands can stagnate and often become dull as they become comfortable and complacent with their own success – thankfully, this is not the case for Blood Red Shoes, as Ø signifies the band’s darkest and best work yet.
The EP greets you with a kind of distorted drum beat that trots along a path, which is stutteringly joined by some eerie guitar pieces, before the path is completely destroyed by a huge drum beat that fully takes charge of the track.
It’s almost as if Carter and Ansell use these 117 seconds to remind you they haven’t gone anywhere in the last two years.
MISERY LOVES COMPANY’s wonderful opening lyrics of “I’m sick and tired of being your friend” would be a great alternative title for this EP. Immediately you think to yourself and hope your not ‘that friend’, as she complains of the friend in question chatting sh*t, essentially.
The subtle backing vocals in the chorus really make this track – it’s only weakness is that it isn’t longer as the ending comes rather abruptly.
The taster that fans were given from this EP was the groovy as hell A LITTLE LOVE. Ansell’s ability to make seemingly harmless phrases like “a little love won’t hurt you” seem twisted and dark is completely unmatched. Subtle production hints on Carter’s voice is another lovely addition to make her voice sound almost insidious.
A definitive theme of this EP is the ambiguity of the lyrics. CLOSER is the clearest example of that. The subtle instrumentation paves the way for Ansell to mutter his thoughts, examples of “Cus I can’t see the future but I know the past, I know this hesitation and I know this little dance” and “Cus you think you’re free when truthfully you are lost” further add to the gorgeous mystery of this EP.
The big instrumentation parts, immensely produced by Ansell, are another key component as to what makes this EP so damn good, with the big instrumentation parts in XØXØ being nailed perfectly, as well as balancing these massive parts of the track with drowned out subtle moments – you have to take your hat off to him.
Closing this EP, ON THE HOOK gives the impression that you’re at the end of a film and the lead character is on the run. Its fast-paced, aggressive punk-style drumming further adds to the fact. If a chase scene in a film was a song, this would be it, and if an Oscar-winning film were an EP, Ø would most certainly be it.
Standout Tracks: MISERY LOVES COMPANY, A LITTLE LOVE, CLOSER
For Fans Of: Placebo, White Lies, Band Of Skulls
Written By: Joe Loughran