It’s been a less tween-angering road this time around for Brighton’s favourite power duo. It’s unlikely that You Me At Six fans have forgotten the events of March 2012, but then they’ve probably had plenty of unkind words directed at them, maybe they’ve moved on. Steve and Laura-Mary have definitely moved on with their fourth LP, the self-titled ‘Blood Red Shoes’. It was self-produced and recorded on an industrial estate in the graffiti drenched Kreuzberg area of Berlin, exactly where you’d expect an album of this intensity to be created.
Starting as it means to go on, the fuzzy-guitar instrumental crescendo of ‘Welcome Home’, ahem, welcomes you into the album’s warm embrace. From there we venture through an emotional outpouring from a band in complete artistic control. There’s all out assault in the form of ‘Don’t Get Caught’ and lead single ‘An Animal’, sitting comfortably alongside ‘Stanger’, which sounds like nothing the band have done before. Every emotion that has been bottled up over the years is here to behold; it’s a warts and all display. Self-produced, self-recorded, self-released, self-titled, this is about as up close and personal to the band as it’s possible to be. The influence of Berlin pours through at every angle, like they’ve been constantly riding the U-Bahn on a diet of bratwurst and sauerkraut.
It’s wonderful that a band can still surprise you six years after the release of their debut, and as Blood Red Shoes take another step forward they should be applauded. For those familiar with Carter and Ansell’s previous long player In Time To Voices, if you liked ‘Je Me Perds’ then you’ll love this. If you haven’t heard any of their previous material, then come on in – they have tasty doughnuts. Hopefully you like Schmalzkuchen.
Words: Jack McKenna
‘Blood Red Shoes’ is out on Monday 3rd March on PIAS / Jazz Life