The Birthday Massacre - Hide and Seek
Electro, Gothrock They said that pop would eat itself. Then Lady Gaga wore a dress made of raw meat, and the distinction between art, fashion and music crumbled under the weight of a thousand sets of expectations. Perhaps this recording represents a further blurring of those distinctions, or maybe it is just what it is. In any case I cannot think of anyone who does what these guys do better. It's a very finely balanced recording that for all appearances seems to be designed to wilfully lure you in with its charms. Hopefully to rope you into listening to a genre that you may not usually care for.

Is this a pop record? Well, I suppose I'd have to say yes. But it's also a hell of a lot more. And before we delve too much deeper, you should read this review with the understanding that I think this album is really quite brilliant.

So let's get down to the music. They call it synthrock. I'd be equally comfortable calling it somewhere between darkwave and synthpop, with more guitars. Lovely, wickedly distorted melodic guitars that make you want to join a band just so you can hit that super saturated E5 power chord and let it ring, basking in the glory of it all.

The music itself is a clash of dark ideas and sugar coated pop hooks. It's hard to recall an album that drew inspiration from so many genres, yet manages to cobble it all together into something that sounds so seamless, as though it was always meant to be. The 80's pop influences are undeniable, but it's a heavier sound. Deeper, richer, displaying a very self assured musical maturity.

Yet this style of music would be barren without the magical touch of Chibi's effortless vocals. Her voice has that very rare distinction of being both airy and powerful, ethereal yet commanding. It's a delicious interplay between catchy lyrics and atmosphere drenched synths. Overall I'm very much reminded of Chandeen, one of the shining beacons of early 90's darkwave.

This album is like a trip back to a time almost 15 years ago when goths wore lace, and would flee the dance floor in disgust as soon as the opening bars of THAT Space Frog remix were played. It was a time of transition, where the dark beauty of European darkwave was slowly being supplanted by the relentless aggression of industrial and EBM. Yet Synthpop was still alive and well, a nostalgic throwback to the 80's that any self respecting goth would have embraced just to get that much closer to an era that they either lived, or secretly wished that they had.

If this album had been released in those heady days, I think that by now it may have been one of the most celebrated classics of the age. The kind of record that people would prominently place in their vinyl collections, just to make sure that friends saw it as they casually flicked though past David Bowie and The Fields of the Nephilim. I hope that it realises that success. The production is polished, flawless. The sound unique. I have high hopes that it will be listened to for many years to come.
4
Brutal Resonance

The Birthday Massacre - Hide and Seek

They said that pop would eat itself. Then Lady Gaga wore a dress made of raw meat, and the distinction between art, fashion and music crumbled under the weight of a thousand sets of expectations. Perhaps this recording represents a further blurring of those distinctions, or maybe it is just what it is. In any case I cannot think of anyone who does what these guys do better. It's a very finely balanced recording that for all appearances seems to be designed to wilfully lure you in with its charms. Hopefully to rope you into listening to a genre that you may not usually care for.

Is this a pop record? Well, I suppose I'd have to say yes. But it's also a hell of a lot more. And before we delve too much deeper, you should read this review with the understanding that I think this album is really quite brilliant.

So let's get down to the music. They call it synthrock. I'd be equally comfortable calling it somewhere between darkwave and synthpop, with more guitars. Lovely, wickedly distorted melodic guitars that make you want to join a band just so you can hit that super saturated E5 power chord and let it ring, basking in the glory of it all.

The music itself is a clash of dark ideas and sugar coated pop hooks. It's hard to recall an album that drew inspiration from so many genres, yet manages to cobble it all together into something that sounds so seamless, as though it was always meant to be. The 80's pop influences are undeniable, but it's a heavier sound. Deeper, richer, displaying a very self assured musical maturity.

Yet this style of music would be barren without the magical touch of Chibi's effortless vocals. Her voice has that very rare distinction of being both airy and powerful, ethereal yet commanding. It's a delicious interplay between catchy lyrics and atmosphere drenched synths. Overall I'm very much reminded of Chandeen, one of the shining beacons of early 90's darkwave.

This album is like a trip back to a time almost 15 years ago when goths wore lace, and would flee the dance floor in disgust as soon as the opening bars of THAT Space Frog remix were played. It was a time of transition, where the dark beauty of European darkwave was slowly being supplanted by the relentless aggression of industrial and EBM. Yet Synthpop was still alive and well, a nostalgic throwback to the 80's that any self respecting goth would have embraced just to get that much closer to an era that they either lived, or secretly wished that they had.

If this album had been released in those heady days, I think that by now it may have been one of the most celebrated classics of the age. The kind of record that people would prominently place in their vinyl collections, just to make sure that friends saw it as they casually flicked though past David Bowie and The Fields of the Nephilim. I hope that it realises that success. The production is polished, flawless. The sound unique. I have high hopes that it will be listened to for many years to come. Oct 21 2012

Julian Nichols

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

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