The Birthday Massacre - Pins and Needles

Album cover
Industrial
Metropolis
The Birthday Massacre
Pins and Needles
The Birthday Massacre - Pins and Needles Review rating:
3.5
User rating:
Average: 4.5 (4 votes)

On paper the female fronted Birthday Massacre seem like a sham; industrial styling’s peppered with a plethora of synth and 80’s pop sensibilities don’t seem like the sultry combination actually evoking from their execution. But it does. Not fifteen seconds into the opening number and the formula this band has perfected is unequivocally understood. Haunting atmospheres are met with a voice which the likes of Amy Lee (Evanescence) and Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) wish they could embark upon. Single packages are nothing of the essence here; all focus must be pointed to the sum of all parts. The riffing Falcore and Rainbow lay down are a foundation that the synths will follow over, and over, beefing the abstract but also accompanying the aesthetics. Every jazz enthused piano line, every pop-down interlude, every soaring chorus is all a necessity in defining The Birthday Massacre.

With past efforts, Violet included, things revolved around creepy ambiances to solidify the bands place amongst the rock world. However, Pins and Needles hears a band firm in the footing of their own sound. Not to dismay the foundation laid by their extravagant back catalogue but the band have never sounded so comfortable. The creepiness in hindsight seems like a shtick instead of its intended bravado. While there are still laments of that brooding factor they are not the appeal of, nor the crutch of the music. Swag-tastic lines, “Shallow Grave”, “In the Dark” suffuse hot anthems with heavy riffs driving the Britney Spears like hooks – think back to hear dark In the Zone days. There’s no better culmination of this recipe heard on Pins and Needles than “Sideways”; encompassing the best goth-pop collab heard this side of the decade, the band craft a masterful tune that explains the boundaries of their sound well.

And it’s the boundaries that hinder the band from creating a masterful record. There’s no deviation from the typical blueprint. Everything is delivered with bubble gum pop execution in mind that in the end strangles a lot of the exercise the guitars could surely benefit from. While it’s the sum of the parts that defines this album, and band for that matter, the room for each component to breathe would be an essential cornerstone for further releases. Distancing their harmonizing of synth work and drum fills/guitar leads could be the existential needed for the band to break away from the shtick barrier, as for now they’re a great band producing great music. They’re just not defying the genre’s they’re clashing like they should.

1. In the Dark
2. Always
3. Pale
4. Control
5. Shallow Grave
6. Sideways
7. Midnight
8. Pins and Needles
9. Two Hearts
10. Sleepwalking
11. Secret

The Birthday Massacre is a synth rock band, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The band was officially formed in 1999, known at that time as Imagica. The band consists of Chibi (vocals), Rainbow (guitars and programming), Michael Falcore (guitars), Owen (keyboards), O.E. (previously drums, now bass), and Rhim (drums).

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Batman
Batman says... "Taking Back Sunday composes their music first, then the lyrics."

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