American Culture

TunesDay presents our band of the week: The Birthday Massacre

One of my top CDs for 2007 was Walking With Strangers by The Birthday Massacre. And one of the top CDs of 2005 was Violet, also by TBM. About the harshest criticism I could muster for last year’s effort was that it wasn’t appreciably better than the 2005 release, but given how great Violet was, that’s hardly a damning critique.

If you’ve never encountered The Birthday Massacre before, let me see if I can describe them for you. The ’80s post-punk influences are evident and the haunted dollhouse goth edge to their aesthetic owes plenty to the likes of the late great Switchblade Symphony. Add an occasional flash of metal to lend the proceedings some aural gravity and you’re almost there.

I suppose what always strikes me is how they manage to be so dark, yet so beautiful – if Baz Luhrmann were to adapt Keats’ “The Eve of St. Agnes” for the silver screen, surely TBM would be asked to produce the soundtrack. No doubt I’m biased due to some kink in me that I’ve never quite understood – the whole “beauty in the darkness” thing never fully lets me go – but I’m always fascinated when a band is able to fuse elements that most people see as contradictory.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our Band of the Week, The Birthday Massacre. Enjoy the show.

First, this is “Blue,” from Violet.

The new vid for “Looking Glass,” from Walking With Strangers, offers a bitter comment on the state of education.

Here’s “Nevermind,” one of my favorite TBM tunes.

And finally, that “beauty in the darkness” thing I mentioned above? Yeah, dig the light show here…

Hope you enjoyed it, and if you did, by all means buy the records…

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