After forming in 2004, Blood Red Shoes shared their early stages with a who’s-who of ’00s British indie, supporting everyone from Maximo Park to Foals on tour. The Brighton-based duo of Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell may not have followed the early hype with a debut full-length until four years later, but while much of ‘Box Of Secrets’ was already long familiar, it wasn’t any less of a thunderous introduction.
It’s an age-old cliche to say that two-piece bands make a lot of noise for the amount of members, but when Laura-Mary’s blackened thumps of a Telecaster are laid over Steven’s relentless drumming during the choruses of ‘I Wish I Was Someone Better’ and ‘This Is Not For You’, it’s a punch to the gut.
“Blood Red Shoes arrived as a gritty, grungy alternative to the bands they made their home alongside.”
‘Box of Secrets’ is relentless from front to back, and despite its title, keeps nothing unspoken. The title of ‘I Wish I Was Someone Better’ says it all for that track in particular, while ‘ADHD’ is as restless and fidgety as its name suggests.
The interplay between the pair is compelling, with voices and instruments slithering in between each other throughout, no entire song given to just Laura-Mary or Steven. ‘Fire Like This’, the band’s 2010 follow-up, may have shown them as a more complete band, but ‘Box Of Secrets’ has far more bite and enthusiasm.
Blood Red Shoes arrived with their ‘Box of Secrets’ as a gritty, grungy alternative to the bands they made their home alongside, and over eight years on, it still feels every ounce as potent.
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