When describing ‘Fire Like This’ to the NME, Brighton duo Blood Red Shoes said the melodies are “more evil-sounding”. Now if that doesn’t make you put the CD down and back away slowly, well, you’re probably into stuff like Funeral For A Friend. Emo off, mate. It’s true, the sound is heavier, though generally retaining the urgency of its predecessor, but round about the middle – okay, track 4 onwards – the angst rolls in and settles like a great damp fog and no amount of frantic cymbal pounding or guitar shredding is going to turn doe-eyed love song lyrics like “Can you feel your heart sink, I can feel mine” and the mantra, “Count me out, I’m not here” into punky, spunky rants. There’s still a sense of pop-driven lash-out but wallowing definitely has the upper hand here. Until they return to their early, forgot, gnarly sound, BRS can Emo off.

By Polly Rappaport

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