the birthday massacre

EP Review: The Birthday Massacre – Imaginary Monsters

“Imaginary Monsters” follows the layout of the “Looking Glass” EP almost exactly – mostly remixes, with a few new songs (though, no covers this time, sadly). Remixes or otherwise, the whole thing is still distinctly Birthday Massacre. As such, at times it’s hard to seperate these songs from their original versions since they sound like remixes done by the band themselves as opposed to the artists involved in their transformation.

The EP opens with three new songs. It’s besides the point to call them good or bad – they are Birthday Massacre. You will not be swayed by any of these songs if you’re not already a fan, but they’re certain to please those who have stuck with the band for a while. There is nothing as upbeat here as “Looking Glass” – the new songs are interestingly atmospheric. Not that The Birthday Massacre were lacking a playfully-dark atmosphere before, but here they really take it to a new level. “Left Behind” is my favourite of the new tracks because it almost stumbles into post-rock territory. It may only be two-and-a-half minutes long, but it is an epic dreamscape of a song.

The remixes are fine. Really, I’m not convinced that enough has been done to each track to distinguish them from any other Birthday Massacre song. I enjoy that the band have their own distinct sound, but when remixing a song, you should really put your own stamp on it. That doesn’t seem to have happened here. The Kevvy Mental & Dave Ogilvie “Rubber Unicorn” Mix of “Pale” could easily have been the band’s original demo for the track, before changing it to the version that appears on “Pins and Needles.”

Combichrist do their best to turn the industrial-ness up to 11 on the first incarnation of “Shallow Grave” that appears, and their remix is definitely superior to the Assemblage 23 Mix that appears later on the EP. The stand out of the remixes for me is the Tweaker Mix of “Control” with its sinister vocoder vocals and pounding beat. But I can’t help feeling that that is because it was one of my favourites from “Pins and Needles” anyway.

One for the hardcore fans. The new tracks are good, yet familiar. The remixes are enjoyable, but they don’t break new ground. Harmless, not very exciting, but The Birthday Massacre are a good band. I just wish they would let loose a little, especially on EPs such as these where experimenting would be warmly welcomed.

Rating: 6/10


About Scott Wilson

Having spent the last twenty years of his life telling his friends his opinion of the latest release by every band he has ever heard of, Scott is an enthusiastic journalist and keen writer. A fan of every genre of music, though his heart firmly belongs to rock, he has been spending far too much money on gigs and not enough on digs. Reachable by either email or Twitter where copious amounts of commentating and general excitement can also be found.

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