Review Summary: The Birthday Massacre does it again...
As someone who takes pride in their musical taste and variety, it is not usual for me to really hook onto an album after first listen. I tend to spend at least two or three full spins of an album before it either becomes a staple of my rotation, or drops off my musical map. The newest album from Toronto based band The Birthday Massacre, has thrown this theory for a loop.
Pins and Needles
, the fourth album from the band, is a wonderful mixture of meandering synth-work, rhythmic guitars, and beautiful vocals. From the opening notes of “In the Dark” to the final sounds of “Secret”, The Birthday Massacre provides a textbook lesson in writing catchy, melodic gothic rock songs. The obvious highlight of the band is the vocals of Chibi. She is one of my favorite female vocalists, and doesn’t disappoint on this release. Her vocals soar throughout the album, and are especially high quality on “Shallow Grave” and “Sideways”. Another high point of the album is the keyboard work. Every track bristles with unique and melodic keyboard work, which really sets the mood of Pins and Needles.
For as much as I love this album, it is not perfect by any means. Outside of the vocals and keyboards, the musical aspect of this album is not technical at all. The guitars play simple melodies and chords and the bass and drums follow along, not doing anything really intriguing, this makes every song sound relatively similar, but the vocals and keys make enough of a distinction between songs. The intro to “Sideways” and a few riffs in “Midnight” are the only guitar parts that really stuck with me throughout the album.
If you like any sort of gothic rock, industrial, or just catchy music in general, then The Birthday Massacre will more then satisfy you with Pins and Needles
. Although not as near perfect as their previous, Walking With Strangers, The Birthday Massacre puts out a solid album that will grab your attention and not let go.