There are countless reasons to start obsessing about The Birthday Massacre, kick-ass music being the first.
If you’re unfamiliar with The Birthday Massacre, you’re in for a treat. They emerged out of London, Ontario, in 1999, as Imagica before relocating to Toronto, Ontario, and renaming themselves The Birthday Massacre. As cool as the name Imagica was, since it was taken from Clive Barker‘s fantasy novel Imajica, it was already in use by a band in California. In the end, their new name ended up being more memorable.
To this day The Birthday Massacre plays a style of music that takes you on a merry-go-round of genres, but most frequently the ride swings through Rock, Synthpop, New Wave, Dark Wave, Gothic Rock, and Industrial. What they do with this blend of genres is amazing and flawless. Their sound definitely leans heavily on the nostalgia of that Synthpop vibe of the ’80s, but it’s heavy enough with the guitars to pull you into today’s metal. Contrary to the many happy sounds and melodies that shoot you with a jolt of energy like you just inhaled some glass, their lyrics often deal with heavier themes (murder, missing children,, personality disorders, self-esteem, etc.).
While the synthesizer is expressive, Chibi’s voice is what guides you on these dark journeys. At times she’s soft and sweet, at others she hits a soulful lower octave, and then there are her gruff growls, which are simply addictive. Her vocal melodies are hypnotic, playful, and nightmarish. It’s all just fun and very theatrical — as it should be because the band formed with a bunch of friends at Fanshawe College studying in the same fine-arts program.
The concertin the player above does a nice job and then some of showing everything I’ve described. The video was shot in Hamburg, Germany, while The Birthday Massacre was on tour with Psycho Luna in 2007. While the Show and Tell live CD was released in 2009, the DVD didn’t see shelves until 2010. My favorite tracks in the performance include “Video Kid,” “Red Stars,” “Looking Glass,” Horror Show,” “Blue,” and “Happy Birthday.”
Horror fans will also find it interesting that The Birthday Massacre’s video for “In the Dark,” from 2010’s Pins and Needles, was directed by Michael Falcore and Rue Morgue‘s publisher Rodrigo Gudiño. The video contains direct references to A Nightmare on Elm Street and Legend and other horror and fantasy movies.
Also, in 2012 the band released the instrumental track “Night Shift” as a free download via Rue Morgue. The track, according to guitarist Falcore, is an homage to the movie soundtracks of John Carpenter.
The Birthday Massacre – Show And Tell Track List:
01. “Before Dark (Intro)”
02. “Video Kid”
03. “Lovers End”
05. “Falling Down”
07. “Red Stars”
08. “Looking Glass”
09. “Remember Me”
11. “Walking With Strangers”
13. “Horror Show”
14. “Kill The Lights”
16. “Happy Birthday”
’s Concert Series brings you kick-ass live shows to get your party started right and to help you vent your Friday frustrations.
Rock Hard \m/