Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Birthday Massacre

Looking Glass EP
Metropolis Records


It is often difficult for an act to break new ground in an independent and underground music scene. Oftentimes many acts become wooden cut outs of prior big name innovators and pioneers. With too many bands emulating the hit makers of prior eras, everything begins to blend and sound rather static and homogenous. Too many bands begin to sound like a bad mix of Depeche Mode meets Sisters of Mercy meets Nine Inch Nails. Complete with Marilyn Manson knock off gimmicks. Not the case with new up and coming act The Birthday Massacre. Altogether beautiful, empirical, dreamy, and bitingly bitter, the band draws fans with a sound years ahead of many of their current competitors.

The Birthday Massacre took the world by storm in 2004 with their album Violet. Blending beautiful female vocals and sharply biting intelligent lyrics with saccharinely sweet electronic rifts and heavy ominous guitar sounds, the band raised the bar for Dark Rock artists both in Canada and Internationally. In 2007, the acts album "Walking with Strangers" cemented The Birthday Massacre as one of dark rocks more compelling acts. In May of 2008, the eagerly fan awaited release of the single "Looking Glass" was cut for fans worldwide.

The album opens with "Looking glass," the second hit single off of the earlier album "Walking with Strangers." The thunderous guitar and synth rifts open the album with high energy and pulse pounding excitement. Chibi's lovely vocals are razor keen and moving as the dance track beckons you to the floor. "Falling Down" slows the pace with deeply evocative lyrics and moving keyboards. Sweetly pulling the listener through a melancholy lost love song. Shiver steps up the dance beat tempo again. Heavy industrial guitar rifts and astir keyboards create a somnambulistic sounds cape that's truly inviting. "Looking Glass" features two remixes of "Red Stars"; Lukewarm Lover mix by Il Attire is biting and cynical with dreary and ripping synth. The Space Lab mix with Dean Garcia is much more sci-fi evocative and floats effortlessly. "Nowhere" is a featured instrumental with emotive keyboards and a lovely ambient piece that truly embraces the sense of wonder and sometimes innocent feeling that permeates the acts previous tracks. "Weekend" the NYC77 mix by producer Dave Ogilvie has an older feel of 80's new wave synth leading to the bands cover of "I think were alone now." Chibi's voice gives the cover track an illusory feel while the keyboard and heavy guitars turn the original track on its ear. Enclosed within the CD is a DVD video of the Looking Glass single. The doll images combined with Japanese schoolgirl uniforms creates a creepy image that's positively chilling.

Looking Glass introduces the key elements that have made The Birthday Massacre such a compelling act. While not an epic groundbreaking release like their prior works, it's a perfect introduction to the band in its current form and gives us a taste of dulcet things to come. The bands own self styled artwork on album labels and production is delightfully innocent and morbid. Chibi's style and voice along with Rainbows guitars and backing vocals make a solid and catchy formula. The bands videos continue to be as breathtaking in production quality and artwork as everything else they touch. From humble beginnings as art students in London Ontario to the worldwide stage, the act makes attention to detail and production their first priority. Rest assured, "Looking Glass" will delight your senses and continue to draw fans to a polished and delightful act.

- Dr. Raven

1 comment:

Laura said...

I was recently turned on to The Birthday Massacre. I think your description of their music is wonderfully stated! Their lyrics are indeed full of intelligence! Love the write up, love the music!
-Ngozi