Pins and Needles - The Birthday Massacre Review

Released: September 14, 2010
Label: Metropolis Records

  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

The first single, In The Dark, a melodic yet heavy piece welcomes us into the world of Pins and Needles. Angelic vocals from Chibi, heavy guitars and drumming and synthwork that builds a wall of sound around everything, makes this an amazing choice for a starter and a single.

However, the heaviness does not last long, as tracks Always, Pale and Control follows up after In The Dark albeit addictive drum parts and powerful synth composition.

Shallow Grave manages to salvage the album with the almost classic TBM sound. Beginning with a dreamy synth part, programmed bassline and electronic drum beats that gets cuts off to bring in the crunch of Rainbow's riffs and the actual drums. This track is everything to love about TBM, the lyrics are so catchy that you could just sing along to the simplistic chorus "We put her down in a shallow grave/She wears a dress like a body bag every day/And this way she won't have to run away/And she can keep her regrets at bay every day". As grim as the lyrics appear to be, Chibi's light and sweet sounding vocals makes it seem like everything is alright with putting someone in a shallow grave.

After an almost unmemorable first half, the title track really makes it concrete that TBM still has awesome synthrock in them. Coupling heavily delayed guitars with a deep running bassline that seems endless, and an almost psychedelic synth running in sequence during the chorus and ending with a heavy guitar, bass and drum outro. Pins and Needles definitely left me wanting more and that's exactly what Two Hearts and Sleepwalking brings forth.

Just when it is starting to get really exciting, the album ends with Secret, a track that follows the in the same vein as Movie (from Walking with Strangers, 2007). Dreamy guitars, synths, bassline, basically dreamy everything. A good end to the album and a great track to follow after the three headbanging tracks before it.

It is not to be misunderstood that Pins and Needles is a letdown, as it is actually pretty well done in terms of composition, production and technicality of synthwork. However what holds it back is the band's desire to move towards a more easily accessible sound, an easily accepted mainstream sound in tracks such as Pale, Always and Midnight.

Rewind back to Violet (2004), Chibi's vocals had an almost haunting aura to it, the instrumental compositions had a more "haunted alice in wonderland carnival" ambience to it too. As a fan, I have to say I miss the earlier TBM.

5 out of 7 sins


  1. I love the single, synths are in the right places, but I hate the band's makeup. Makes them look like some emo band

  2. It's not a bad single, I prefer the later parts of the album where the intensity is better. And about the make up...well, can't say much.