10 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

That The Birthday Massacre’s most haunting album to date was released in October 2012 might seem like coincidental Halloween timing. But Hide and Seek also sounds darker because, between albums, singer Chibi was diagnosed with vocal polyps; this made her voice sound noticeably more sinister, as you can tell right from the opening “Leaving Tonight." But it’s not until the following “Down” that the Canadian goth-rock quintet ramps up its gloomy synth-rock with guitars that sound harder than any previous recordings. When Chibi starts screaming in the chorus, her voice transforms from its demure cool to a witchy rasp. Anyone who ever put on too much black eyeliner and went clubbing in the late '80s will feel right at home after hearing “Play with Fire,” an icy ballad with sweeping vintage synthesizer tones and Chibi inflecting in a lower register that resembles Siouxsie Sioux or Nico. “Need” also harks back to the tail end of the Reagan era, when DJs spun vinyl by bands blending new wave and goth.

EDITORS’ NOTES

That The Birthday Massacre’s most haunting album to date was released in October 2012 might seem like coincidental Halloween timing. But Hide and Seek also sounds darker because, between albums, singer Chibi was diagnosed with vocal polyps; this made her voice sound noticeably more sinister, as you can tell right from the opening “Leaving Tonight." But it’s not until the following “Down” that the Canadian goth-rock quintet ramps up its gloomy synth-rock with guitars that sound harder than any previous recordings. When Chibi starts screaming in the chorus, her voice transforms from its demure cool to a witchy rasp. Anyone who ever put on too much black eyeliner and went clubbing in the late '80s will feel right at home after hearing “Play with Fire,” an icy ballad with sweeping vintage synthesizer tones and Chibi inflecting in a lower register that resembles Siouxsie Sioux or Nico. “Need” also harks back to the tail end of the Reagan era, when DJs spun vinyl by bands blending new wave and goth.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
265 Ratings

265 Ratings

M2J ,

I wasn't crazy about Pins and Needles, but Hide and Seek is a home-run.

I gots to say, the last album (Pins and Needles) wasn't a vast difference from the album preceding it (Walking with Strangers). Walking with Strangers I would often listen to front to back. Pins and Needles, I found myself doing this less, I jumped around way more. Hide and Seek feels more like they have tread new territory. It still is distinctly The Birthday Massacre sound that I've come to know and love, however, notably different and improved from the last album (I think). I find myself once again throwing the album on and letting it play, without skipping about and cherry-picking tracks. Some of the songs have a really pleasant 80s-retro feel to them, which I'm a mark for. I see some of the comments on here, remarking that this album isn't "dark" and then gets compared to albums that came out the better part of a decade ago. Simple answer to that: yes, they did that already. That painting has been painted already. We don't need lazy sequels, we need fresh material. I feel like The Birthday Massacre delivered. ...but don't take my word for it, buy the album and have a listen!

Miss Macabre ,

perfect, as usual

I honestly don't think there's a single song by TBM that I don't like, and their newest album, fortunately, hasn't changed that. Filled with delicious bittersweet ballads such as "Cover My Eyes," spacey songs like "Play With Fire," and synth-driven rock like "Down," Hide and Seek won't disappoint longstanding TBM fans. It's also more accessible than some of their previous albums, more dark pop than the synthrock of Pins and Needles. If you're a TBM fan or even someone who's just checking out the band, buy the whole album. It's short, clocking in at around 40 minutes, but you'll savor every minute of it.

SFVideoKid ,

TBM does it again … different but still soooo good

TBM just never disappoints. A very polished album for sure but good stuff. I've had it playing on a loop all evening. As a long time fan, I'm always a little fearful that, as their art evolves and matures, their sound will change too much. Happily, they've managed to experiment a bit but still hold on to their core music.

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