The Birthday Massacre are always going to be an extremely fun band for me to explain to “non-listeners.” Typically I will say something along the lines of “Madonna on acid.” Whether you are a Madonna fan or not, that would at the very least spark a partial interest, correct?
With their newly added fifth studio album, Hide and Seek (surprisingly!), I may be preparing for a partial change in that description.
Hide and Seek was a highly anticipated record, for me at least, due in part to the minor disappointment I felt with the previous (Pins and Needles, 2010). My reasoning for the previous disappointment was not necessarily valid – I simply did not enjoy it as much as their first three albums. Such is life, I suppose.
My beef with the newest addition to the discography is simple – it just is not catchy enough. Chibi (female lead) and Co. delve deep into the darkness that has been a staple for TBM, but the balance of pop and dark is just not apparent. For as long as I can remember, their songs stick or implant themselves in your earholes for days/weeks/months – you get the point. Not with Hide and Seek, though.
After about a week of listening to the album, I could not give you a single highlight. What is even more surprising is that I don’t think I could divulge a single criticism (negative, that is). It is really just, well, blah.
In the past, the band’s balance has been a major appeal/turn-on to me. In this case, it is just too dark and straight-forward.
During my research phase, I did come across a fact that the recording process was rushed in some parts. Perhaps that had some effect on the end result? Who knows, really? All I can say is that the album is ordinary – nothing too flashy or remarkable about it. For that reason, it just doesn’t sit the way the typical TBM record would.
Overall, my judgment of the band is at a stand-still. They started out good, moved toward “above good,” then peaked with Walking With Strangers (third full-length for those non-counters), making their best record. Since then, the past two have been average and below average. Hopefully, there is nowhere else to go but up, wouldn’t you think?
For Those Who Like: Lacuna Coil‘s Comalies – Emilie Autumn‘s Opheliac – Hannah Fury‘s Through The Gash