Following from the excellent ‘In time to voices’ which showcased a fuller sound to Blood Red Shoes stripped down approach to fuzzy rock, The ‘Water EP is a harder-edged-still piece of distortion laden melodic pop that will undoubtedly draw in even more listeners to the band’s cause. Offering just three tracks, the opening blast of ‘red river’ is worth the price of admission alone, and it seems that 2013 will be the year Blood Red Shoes will emerge as hot blooded rock monsters with a sound that falls somewhere between The Kills and Rival Sons and a killer production to match.
Opening with ‘Red river’, the first thing that hits you is the squally guitar tone of Lara-Mary Carter, all squealing feedback and gritty riffing set to the clattering backdrop of Steven Ansell’s percussive assault. It’s bass-free, Sleater-Kinney referencing pop music, super-charged with the energy and aggression of punk and delivered with conviction rather than precision in the great tradition of such scuzzy rock bands. No less impressive is ‘black distractions’, a sub three-minute blast that rings out with the fire and fury of ‘In Utero’-era Nirvana, it captures the sound The Kills so often delivered live but, frustratingly, not on record. The final track, ‘idle hands’ rounds things out with a massive fuzz-laden riff that would be the best thing the band had ever recorded if it wasn’t for the sheer, overwhelming excellence of ‘red river’. Nonetheless, that Nirvana sound is still there in the grinding riffs and building-levelling drums, before everything takes a turn for a melt-down of Sonic Youth-esque proportions leaving you sweaty and exhilarated from the experience. Short it may be, but memorable too and it is one of the best things this Brighton two-piece have yet put their name to.
Short, sharp and really rather awesome, the ‘water’ EP is a brilliant coda to the superb ‘in time to voices’ album of last year, and it shows that Blood Red Shoes have the guts, the songs and the ability to stand head and shoulders with similarly fuzzy pop merchants Sugar, the White Stripes and Pavement. ’Water’ is a delight and a brilliant showcase of what Blood Red Shoes are capable.