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The Birthday Massacre

The Birthday Massacre: Sugar and spice and everything nice. Really

Rarely does a band's name fit its music as decorously as with the Birthday Massacre. Similarly the Toronto-based quintet's sound is color-coordinated with its black-and-purple art scheme. It is Eighties big-rock balladry reupholstered for the goth-rock vampire patrol, like Missing Persons lost in the House of Frankenstein, armed with only a candle and a loud sequencer.

A Game Boy geek squad glorified by the presence of hot chick singer Chibi, the band is thankfully not anything like the German industrial devil-cartoon bands you might be thinking of. Instead their trademarks are crunch-ass guitars, simple Nintendo keyboard lines cranked to 11, and massive, heart-tugging hooks. Conceptually — their ever-present fake blood is purple — they're a bit too faux-gory for the mainstream, but the songs ... man, those songs.

"We're not like dead-serious, snarling, raised-eyebrow guys trying to freak people out," protests Chibi. "We just have a bit of fun with things and do things we think are cool and interesting with our visuals. I mean, if a blood-spattered shirt is over-the-top, then I guess we're pretty insane."


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