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.
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason