The Birthday Massacre
Fascination


3.5
great

Review

by XyphDryne USER (3 Reviews)
March 6th, 2022 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The bunny is back. And this time, it is a bit more blue than violet.

The release of the last, great album Diamonds went hand in hand with the first measures to mitigate the outbreak of the corona virus. In other words, the band could not play an accompanying tour and the album did not get the attention it deserved. In the two following years, the band turned to their loyal fan base and released demo versions of some songs on Patreon and conducted Q&A sessions.

The new album will not meet the same fate as Diamonds, because at the end of February 2022 The Birthday Massacre (hereafter TBM) went back on stage. Is it justified that Fascination should now be given the honor that Diamonds was denied?

From here on, I could copy and paste many parts from the Diamonds review on this site. Unsurprisingly, they stick to their formula of 80s synths, subdued guitars and Chibi's sweet voice. Speaking of 80s synths: On Cold Lights I had to check if Jan Hammer had his fingers in the pie. Another indicator of sound continuity is the fact that they again worked with Dave Ogilvie, who gave the album a punchy and spacious mix with a great attention to detail. As he always did. His subtle influence on the addcitiveness of TBM album should not be underestimated.
As since Superstition at the latest, heavier guitars like on their reference work Needles & Pins are not to be expected. The guitars were once again woven into an overall homogeneous sound picture, without even once gaining dominance over synthesizers. Even in the driving Like Fear, Like Love, TBM don't begrudge fans of the first hours any increase in heaviness. It would be nice if TBM would allow a bit more harshness again to provide a more contrasting listening experience.

Then again, with such consistently good songwriting, there's no real reason to complain. A majority of the songs come across as very carried, providing ample room for catchy choruses, carried by Chibi's voice with the typical pop ingenues like doubled voices and reverb. Speaking of Chibi's voice: If there is one feature that I identify as a (small) novelty on Fascnination is an increased emotionality in Chibi's voice. For this she sometimes goes into high realms, sometimes she uses a subtle sobbing. A nice little ingredient to a well known recipe.

The title track Fascniation may serve as an example for this. It´s a tragic sounding song (and perhaps one of their best) with a long playing time of over 5 minutes by TBM standards. An interesting choice to start the album, but in a way, it is a fitting introduction to a rather subdued album. If you are looking for the snappy side of TBM, Dreams of you and Like Fear, Like Love may serve your needs.

The bottom line is that we are dealing with a TBM album in which little is new and not all songs are as captivating as the best offerings on Fascination. Still, Fascination can set its own scent mark through its thoughtfulness and Chibi's heightened emotionality.

Recommended tracks:
Fascination
Like Fear, Like Love
Once Again


user ratings (55)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
XyphDryne
March 6th 2022


376 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Here we go:

https://thebirthdaymassacre.bandcamp.com/album/fascination

Get Low
March 6th 2022


14105 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

another boring one from TBM

Emim
March 6th 2022


35161 Comments


Didn't know they had another one out so soon. I'm sure it's solid as usual.

bloc
March 7th 2022


69399 Comments


Agreed with the 3.5, but I was impressed enough to give this album a 4. It's definitely a paint by numbers TBM album (as the last few have been) but I am a bit of a fanboy

I do think this is better than the last couple that came before it

Emim
March 7th 2022


35161 Comments


"I was impressed enough to give this album a 4."

https://youtu.be/ybcNSoh8vI4

bloc
March 7th 2022


69399 Comments


https://youtu.be/O8DB60Wj9Cg?t=15

XyphDryne
March 7th 2022


376 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@bloc: If I was able, I´d have given it a 3.7.

Songs 4 and 5 are a bit unremarkable. The rest is good to fantastic. But there has to be a bit of margin where their top albums reside. Which are your 3 favourites?

I guess mine are Pins and Needles, Violet and Diamonds.

CriticalMyth
March 7th 2022


58 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I really enjoyed this release. I was lucky enough to be in the crowd in NYC when they played their first show in about three years. The new songs mixed well with the classics.

hangth3dj
March 8th 2022


721 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm not familiar with this band, but so far this is tickling my love of 80's synth in all the right ways. Halfway through, but I think this will be an easy 4, if not higher.

kalkwiese
March 8th 2022


10358 Comments


The aesthetic of the cover artwork for this and all the other albums makes me interested lol

hangth3dj
March 8th 2022


721 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Glad this is currently featured on the home page, get on it!

rockarollacola
March 10th 2022


2129 Comments


Artwork is eye candy. Not sure what the rabbit ears are about, but it still looks cool.

Sabrutin
July 19th 2022


9551 Comments


wow they really went all in on the booming 80s mid-tempo pop sound in this one! On first listen I don't know what I think of it. Cold Lights especially sounds more like something you could hear randomly on the radio than the usual TBM

Sabrutin
July 19th 2022


9551 Comments


... ok I did want them to spice things up but this record oftentimes almost sounds like a Chibi solo record with an overproduced 80s shtick. I need to think

pizzamachine
July 19th 2022


26546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Their best album in a while! Hoooooo boy

discovolante
July 26th 2022


853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

“Cold Lights” is a jam and “Stars and Satellites” reminds me of vintage TBM, which reminds me of my middle school days. Definitely a cut above their last two albums.

Gmork89
July 26th 2022


8534 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Finally giving this a listen, really hope its better than the last few.



Edit - This opener soars.

Gmork89
July 26th 2022


8534 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Easy 4 here, their best in a long while I would say. Sounds much more inspired, a lot more happening on the instrument front than I have heard in a while too. Didn't expect it to be this great.

helpmypantsareonfire
August 2nd 2022


139 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just got my signed vinyl copy of this :toot:

Get Low
August 3rd 2022


14105 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Your username with the :toot: made me lawl



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