The Birthday Massacre
Pins and Needles

1. In the Dark
2. Always
3. Pale
4. Control
5. Shallow Grave
6. Sideways
7. Midnight
8. Pins and Needles
9. Two Hearts
10. Sleepwalking
11. Secret

Chibi - Vocals
Rainbow - Guitar, Synth/Percussion Programming, Vocals
Michael Falcore - Guitar, Synth/Percussion Programming
O.E. - live Bass, Vocals
Rhim - live Drums
Owen - live Keyboards

Nothing and Nowhere (2002)
Violet (2005)
Walking with Strangers (2007)


Rainbow and M. Falcore - Producing and Recording
Dave "Rave" Ogilvie and Rainbow - Mixing
Dave "Rave" Ogilvie - Mix Engineer
Brock McFarlane - Assistant Mix Engineer
Noah Mintz - Mastering
Kevin James Maher - Programming and Editing
Mixed At: Mushroom Studios (Vancouver, Canada) & Dire Studios (Toronto, Canada)
Mastered At: Lacquer Channel

Released 17/9-2010
Reviewed 9/9-2010


In contrast to Daniel's review - mine won't be a shameless praise with not much critical sides on Canadas new hard rock sensation. But there are some things I am ready to agree on. Like what Daniel said about the music being violet, not only on the covers. Another thing is that The Birthday Massacre are gothic, atmospheric and pretty heavy on 'Pins & Needles'.

There are also some things I disagree with. Like what Daniel said about this being the best album of the year, with no doubt - that title is firmly held by Dark Tranquillity, just as safe as a lion can devour a package of cheese. And if that isn't a description that speaks for it self, we can describe it as a labyrinth, which corner after corner takes us closer to the middle but even though Birthday Massacre run as fast as they can, their music is to calm and atmospheric to catch the screaming Swedes.

Either way, the album is very good, and well made. Some might call it a masterpiece. However, I find it less interesting than albums released earlier by the Canadians, which might say a lot if you peek the grade. In the strongest songs they are very close to make a new, purple classic. The album feels really well produced, like it calls on our attention very subtle. I appreciate it as an album you might have on repeat for 24 hour straight without even noticing, it is so humble in it's appearance yet so varied and individual in the songs - without going too far and being all over the place with serious personal disorder. It is, as the Swede would say, just right in about everything. And of course it's very good too... Which makes me feel that you never really get feed up with the songs. I've heard it 15 times when I write this and I don't think I've played it less than 3 times in repeat on each occasion. Yet, I don't feel I'm even close to lose interest for the songs.

In my opinion, The Birthday Massacre is a fresh breeze. They play some sort of synthpop metal with gothic elements and all their atmospheric mood carpets they add with the electronics give them just that violet mood Daniel described in his review. I also think they feel left-oriented (political). They are just that little rebellious and radical in their appearance, without going too far with anything. Chibi, who does the vocal part, have a great voice that unfortunately gets a little drenched in the auto-voice tuning and other audio-pitch experiments and you don't really get how good she actually sings. But all of these extra effects fits to the music, so it's criticism with a parenthesis pair around it. Had it sounded bad with the music, the hammer would have seen the daylight, at least the small hammer.

All in all, 'Pins & Needles' is a very good and well made, interesting album. It continues on the path laid out by The Birthday Massacre since before. However, I do hope they can speed up the release schedule a little, because it is far too long between the releases. On the other hand, 'Pins & Needles' is made almost perfect. I tried to pick songs that stands out from the rest but realized that picking out the songs that isn't anything special was far more easy. The last song, as well as Two Hearts are the two that lacks something, but I actually think that all of the songs are possible to love and prefer. At least in the company of the others, individual it's hard to say. I don't think they are outstanding, yet they are very, very good so to say anything negative would be harsh.

Either way, this is an album breaking boundaries and works more or less everywhere. A purple album, that's a little left-oriented - as simple as that. It is an album that cannot reach the best album of the year award, but without a doubt - it is a close second!


Label: Metropolis/dependent/Sound Pollution
Three similar bands: Silvery/Nightwish/Alphaville
Rating: HHHHHH
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm