This band has been releasing scattered singles since 2005. Since these were interesting showed so much promise, it made me wonder when/if a full-length album would be coming...and, now, here it is! While it does contain some older songs previously released as singles ("ADHD", "You Bring Me Down", "It's Getting Boring By the Sea", "I Wish I Was Someone Better"), a B-side from "You Bring Me Down ("Try Harder"), the rest are new songs for this release. Besides, including these makes 'Box of Secrets' a solid introduction to Blood Red Shoes, and may make you want to hunt down their previous stuff (like the 2007 EP I'll Be Your Eyes) just to get the B-sides!
The formula for this band's music is deceptively simple, with Laura-Mary Carter [vocals/guitar] and Steven Ansell [vocals/drums]. Despite this, their actual music style is difficult to pinpoint. Through listening to them, you can tell that their influences go much deeper than those that might be associated with the mainstream bands of the broad terms of 'alternative' and/or 'indie punk' to be stuck on them. For instance, these are a few of the bands mentioned as influences on their official MySpace Music site: PJ Harvey, Joy Division, The Velvet Underground, The Fall, Queen, Smashing Pumpkins, Gang of Four, Neu, Devo, and on and on; it's quite a variety. They aren't cursory music listeners, and, as follows, their own music is complex and engaging.
Their lyrics are catchy and frequently witty, with a very British, anthemic quality about them ("Forgive Nothing" might be the best example of this). I fell in love with their music immediately. This band initially seemed to me to have a similar vibe as Death From Above 1979, which is also a two-piece band (I highly recommend that band's album, You're a Woman, I'm a Machine). There's the moody sarcasm, the DIY ethic of old-school punk bands of the 70s, combined with a fierce, firey energy. As they've described themselves, they're making the kind of music that *they* want to, not what the public expects or what the music industry demands. Though 'Box of Secrets' is a great album, there's still a lot more raw, untapped power that Blood Red Shoes has yet to reveal.