The Birthday Massacre
By Mike Delano
Canadian dark wavers The Birthday Massacre, now halfway through their second decade of existence, expertly walk the line between electro that’s moody and intriguing and electro that stumbles into cheesy territory. That balance is reflected in their namesake, and the constant push and pull of their sound is one that is consistently surprising and doesn’t take itself too seriously. “Divide,” the opener from their sixth album Superstition, is a perfect example of this tightrope act. The driving, aggressive guitar riff is a winner, while the keyboards veer dangerously close to Johnny Hates Jazz territory. Likewise, vocalist Chibi’s gorgeous, ethereal voice is nearly always at its Ladytron-with-more-soul best, but she occasionally dips into Dani Filth-style high-pitched growls, which are just a headscratcher. The hooks are undeniable, though — from “Diaries” to “Rain” to the title track, the band has a real knack for catchy writing. And editing, too — none of these tracks meander, so the album delivers a concise, memorable set of ten mini-symphonies to pull your hoodie up over and get lost in.