Sound — 9
Anthem rock spiked with power pop punk canvasses Fire Like This, the new album from the UK duo of Blood Red Shoes. Produced by Mike Crossey who also produced the duo's debut album Box of Scents from V2 Records in 2008, Fire Like This has the passion of vintage Brit-punk and the melodic sensibilities of contemporary power pop. The music is easy to pin down modulated to relate to the generation of fans who gravitate to Paramore and Flyleaf, though the duo of Steve Ansell (lead vocals, drums) and Laura Mary Carter (2nd lead vocals, guitar) have a hi-fi production that ventures into epic rock and melodic-tinged metal territories. Tracks like It Is Happening Again and Keeping It Close ramp up the volume while mid-tempo numbers like Count Me Out and Follow The Lines follow a set pattern of building up steam and discharging it in billowing riffs. The song Light It Up has a fist-pump charged chorus and the repetitive drumbeats of Colours Fade is tandem to the raw pounding of the White Stripes marching rhythm. Other tracks have a soft rock sonorous like One More Empty Chair and When We Wake, but for the most part, Blood Red Shoes anchor their music in melodic-toned tremors and power pop punk treads.
Lyrics — 8
The language in their lyrics has an adolescent feel expressing defeat in the prime of life like in Don't Ask as Ansell tells, Don't ask this time / Don't ask the reasons why / You started on two feet and ended on your knees I don't see a place left for you to climb. There are other tracks where Ansell is answered back by a chorus like in Heart Sink when he fires, The ordinary sound of the ordinary life / chorus -- living here forever, living here forever / We've heard it all ten thousand times / Can you feel your heart sink? / I can feel mine, I can feel mine / Inch by inch we fight / chorus -- never satisfied, never satisfied. The most anthem rock track in the bunch is Light It Up as Ansell inflames, Got a feeling it's a fever, it's a fire / Taking trouble, take it down into the wire / One chance, two chance, it's a lie / It's old and old and old and worn out / Light it up for real and watch it work away. The lyrics project an image of baptism by fire.
Overall Impression — 9
Blood Red Shoes' songs are tempered to attract today's social activists who feel defeated by modern politics. The songs have a fiery spirit that can be traced through the generations of punk rockers from the Joy Division in the late 70s to Siouxsie and the Banshees in the 80s to Kasabian in the 2000's. Fire Like This is reflective of the times and bridges punk fans from all factions of the world.