The Birthday Massacre

Violet

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After a spooky synth intro track that sounds like a snippet of '70s Italian horror movie specialists Goblin, the Birthday Massacre's debut album swiftly moves into a reimagination of '80s new wave styles rather similar to fellow Toronto band Metric but with more of a goth/darkwave vibe. Two synthesizer players do battle with a rock guitarist fond of the kind of crunchy hard-candy riffs that the hair metal bands made inescapable for a few years. Over this, mono-named singer Chibi does a passable imitation of Lene Lovich's quirky phrasing, occasionally shooting for a more ethereal Kate Bush sort of sound. The resulting mélange of half-remembered styles from the not so distant past is entertaining enough, but in the same way that the paisley underground bands were entertaining in the '80s themselves: Violet is a not-quite-right homage to a specific musical period that ends up being less enjoyable than the Sisters of Mercy or Siouxsie and the Banshees records that probably inspired the Birthday Massacre.

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