Album Review: The Birthday Massacre – “Superstition”
Well, this is pleasing, starry eyed synth-rock with a cinematic quality from over the Atlantic and up there were they ‘aboot’ a lot. Fifteen years into their career, The Birthday Massacre know their chosen sound and show little desire to wander far from it, and as such there’s very little to choose between this selection and their debut offering, Nothing and Nowhere. It’s a mix of alt-rock, industrial and new wave, all twisted into a sinister fairy tale.
Still, no one ever riots when AC/DC pop out another ten tracks of twelve bar boogie, so let’s not assume that dedication to the course automatically equals a lack of imagination. Here are a band happy to party in their own little niche corner, and if you’re prepared to stop being the wallflower and say “Hey”, you might even find your very own manic pixie dream girl, at least in audio form.
Holding it all together are the lush vocals of Chibi, whose voice is strangely reminiscent of 90s dream-pop starlets like Saint Eitienne’s Sarah Cracknell, or her out of Dubstar. (New interactive reader feature… do your own Google search! Okay, okay it was Sarah Blackwood. Happy?). Further up the rock family tree, Diaries takes the seductress from Madonna’s Open Your Heart, and turns her into a full blown femme fatale. Imagine if Cathy Dennis had too many Push Pops and wound up in a studio with Static-X.
Throughout Superstition there’s a lovely sense of music slightly of a time, a scene that never really broke, but never really went away. Ultimately, any band with members called Falcore and Rainbow, and a drummer known only as Rhim are going to be hard to hate on. The Birthday Massacre are the sound of 16-bit video games, school discos and 2000s teen movies, the sort of band you’d expect to find playing The Bronze in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We’ll see you at the bar…