Blood Red Shoes are Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell. They are a rock band from Brighton, UK. They know there is a power and intensity in simplicity. And they have a new album. It's called Fire Like This.
Intensity is the word. Fire Like This is simply exceptional rock music, steeped in a knowledge of your alt-rock staples Nirvana, Babes In Toyland, Drive Like Jehu but with its own fingerprint. 'Don't Ask' and 'Count Me Out' harness scything guitars and loud-quiet dynamics like they never went out of fashion. But there's more ambitious fare here, too. Take dramatic seven-minute closer 'Colours Fade', originally released as a free download from their website or the tender, fraught 'When We Wake', a sombre mediation on mortality that nonetheless burns with hot emotional force. "In the end is this all we can ask for?" breathes Laura-Mary, as Steven's drums patter with a quiet intensity.
This is not your typical rock fare, but Blood Red Shoes thrive on such paradox. This, remember, is a band just as comfortable supporting Rage Against The Machine in front of 30,000 Parisians as they are rocking up at a benefit gig for Shelter or Love Music Hate Racism just because, you know, it matters.
"It's a difficult tightrope," says Steven. "You know, we've come from a punk rock, underground scene everyone has pretty strict ethical rules, about selling out and that. We want to make music that matters, that's credible, and artistic. But we're also really ambitious. We definitely want to be a big band."
And is it still possible to do both?
Steven shares a glance with Laura-Mary. They smile. They think so. "It's hard, of course," says Steven. "But we've learnt so much in the last few years. I know we'll be alright if we're completely ourselves."