Following up 2012’s excellent In Time To Voices, British duo Blood Red Shoes have stuck to their strengths on their new self-titled album. Alternating between heavy, thumping riffs and more melodic tones has been their blueprint for four albums now, backed by the shared vocals of drummer Steven Ansell and guitarist Laura-Mary Carter.

It is these contrasting vocals that define the band’s dual styles: Ansell sings as if he’s permanently angry, always railing against the evils of the world; while Carter’s voice can go from sweet to forceful and from seductive to haunting in the space of a couple of lines. When Blood Red Shoes intertwine the two, they produce album highlights such as the hazy, sultry ‘Grey Smoke’ and the yearning melancholy of ‘Far Away’. Propelled by Ansell’s always-excellent drumming, lead single ‘An Animal’ is a glam-rock stomper in the vein of Eagles Of Death Metal, while polar opposite ‘Stranger’ is possibly the album’s best song, as Carter’s solo vocals give a hypnotic vibe to the eerie atmosphere.

While not as immediately accessible as their previous albums, Blood Red Shoes is still an excellent showcase of the band’s versatility and appeal.

Blood Red Shoes is out now on Jazz Life/PIAS.

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