Feeding the Hunger. Blood Red Shoes, In Time To Voices.

"Closer, closer; Feeding the hunger"

Brighton's polycephaletic behemoth Blood Red Shoes has, truth be known, barely been away. Neither hibernating nor hiding behind past successes, two years ago to the month Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell released sophomore LP Fire Like This and, having only ceased touring late on last year, those faintly dwindling embers have been in need of little stoking in order to once again kick up and break loose. Thus that they've already outed follow-up In Time To Voices and are as of yesterday back on stage as well as scene suggests, in accordance with the above lyric, the duo have an insatiable ravenousness for raucousness raging within their guts.

Amidst the gelid distortions of the LP's eponymous opener, it is Ansell's first oral involvement in an effort which intimates he's in a particularly bloodthirsty humour. For whilst Carter has previously been the vocal focal point, her incurious coos are pushed back in the mix to provide ghostly shadows to the vociferous, almost impulsive screeches Steven expels periodically throughout. That she soothes in wan swoon: "It's the ghost you made of me" repeatedly in the dying moments of Night Light only accentuates such impression. Hence In Time To Voices plays to the strength of his yet he is at his most formidable when backed up by she; when we're pummelled with vocal duality or indeed when their two voices are aligned in fine time. Lost Kids is seething power chord pulverisation that sees the pairing spit proverbial blood and sweat through speakers whilst they drift off into the daydreamy territories charted once upon a glimmer by Mazzy Star on glistening shoegaze-y number Silence And The Drones. The parallel oft levelled at the duo as "The White Stripes backwards" or something along such equally contrived lines is again rendered innately lackadaisical and utterly inexplicable although with its howling guitars and Carter's grave yelps Cold may coherently be analogised to The Kills' latest (albeit driven by altogether more organic rhythmic backing). The segueing Two Dead Minutes unfortunately then ressembles more like nigh on four and, although it signals a progressive motion toward the great unknown, it recalls The Joy Formidable's dispiriting end product in the sonically enormous yet thematically vapid form of The Big Roar.

Beyond its invigorating opening salvo In Time To Voices is a strange concoction of lightly disruptive indie-by-integers (Stop Kicking), disreputable pseudo-punk squawk (Je Me Perds), and disconcerting spectral acoustica that swings gawkily between Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and Celebrity Skin (Slip Into Blue). There's little cohesion to meld Carter and Ansell's two voices together and with it the acute coherency they've constructed with their past few fades a touch. Time for reflection and then reignition...