Something to make your feet bleed

Hype. It can make or break a band. The music press shouts from the rooftops that you are the best thing since the last really good thing and before you know it you’ve got a legion of adoring fans all following your every move. They are at the gigs, they are waiting to speak to you after shows, they even know the words to every song; if you weren’t in a band, you’d be getting the police involved. But hey, we live in an incredibly fickle world and sometimes the whole hype machine can explode in everyone’s faces. Sometimes, it can be as devastating as showing a lit match to a Zeppelin balloon in terms of catastrophic potential.

Sometimes, very occasionally, a band come through that are hyped as the next big, big thing and all the excitement, publicity and general ego spankery is completely justified. This is a rare thing indeed but, by jiminy, Brighton based Blood Red Shoes have managed to come through the other side to produce an album which justifiably worth all the words.

Launching in with ‘Doesn’t Matter Much’ with its sexy, low slung guitar gyrating around the drum lines and shouts of “Low, low, low” all combine to make provocative little intro. As an opener this isn’t a punch in the face; it is like some gentle, playful foreplay before the real action takes place.

Single ‘Say Something, Say Anything’ is a little barnstormer of a track.
Written about the death of drummer Steven Ansell’s father, it is the most personal track on the album but never veers into ballad territory. With its rail of “How long can you miss someone?” it is both energetic and driving and with echoes of Sonic Youth, it is absolutely stunning.

‘Boring By The Sea’ is pure indie disco gold. All angular, shouty and urgent, it compels you to jump up and strut around and practice your crazy hands aloft, feet hinged by your ankles moves. Already a live favourite, this is bound to be one of their defining tracks.

This album has been quite a long time coming and all the expectation and furore surrounding the band could backfired spectacularly, but it hasn’t. As a debut, Box of Secrets in an incredibly well produced, strong body of work which deserves all the acclaim that it will undoubtedly get.

Chuck D might have said “Don’t believe the hype” but for once, the hype was right.