Sound — 10
The Birthday Massacre are a band from London, Ontario (who recently tranferred to Toronto), who were originally known as Imagica. They've taken their new name from a line in their song, Happy Birthday. Even as an unsigned band playing small clubs and bars, they have always had a loyal and devoted fanbase, and now, in 2005, they have signed to Metropolis Records and recently released their album, "Violet," a smart, creative, and energetic synth-rock record full of trippy beeps, swirling guitars and heavy metal interludes. Many songs, like Horror Show, Violet, and Video Kid (which opens with a series of amusingly retro video game beeps and bleeps), have a distinct '80s vibe, a sort of Blue Monday mixed with The Cure type sound. Other songs, such as Lover's End, Happy Birthday, and the innocent-meets-evil single Blue, are wonderfully creepy goth-synth that would fit perfectly in the soundtrack to a late-night horror movie. Throughout the album, short intrumental interludes of industrial guitars and techno swirls come by way of songs like Red And Black (yes, quite a few tracks are named after colours).
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics, which are usually written by most or all members of the band, alternate between sweet and trippy to warped and wicked, often within the same song. And excellent example of this is in Blue, when lead vocalist Chibi sings about what seems to be a pleasant party. "Plastic blue invitations in my room/I've been waiting here for you/Reservations made for two," quickly morphs into, a few lines later, " Black tongues speak faster than the car can crash/You supply the rumours, and I'll provide the wrath." It's this type of contradictory lyrics that make The Birthday Massacre so special and unique, with lyrics that haunt you, excite you, and maybe creep you out a bit too. Chibi's voice is absolutely gorgeous, and, as proven in Blue, flexible as well. Her innocent honey-laced voice is the perfect backdrop to the overall creepiness of the record. It's a fun kind of creepy, though, and it's the kind of music you can dance to as well as headbang like a nutter.
Overall Impression — 10
The Birthday Massacre have proven themselves to be a nice change from the typically boring and repetitive goth music scene. If you're looking for a bit of diversity, and a lot of creativity in your music, then The Birthday Massacre are an absolutely perfect band for you. "Violet" contains all the right ingredients for a great album, and you'll find yourself coming back to it again and again.