Released: September 15, 2009 (The End Records)
Format: Goth Rock
I was searching for something new & different on ITunes yesterday and I came across this album. Originally from Helsinki, Finland, The 69 Eyes are what some call “goth n roll”, a mixture of hair metal and gothic rock. With their 10th studio album, they have created an album for vampires and creatures of the night and surprisingly enough…it kinda rocks! What could have become a parody of the genre is actually a throwback to the hair bands of the 80’s. As a matter of fact, as I listened to the album, I was immediately transported to some scenes in the film “Lost Boys”, with its vampires, rock bands on the beach and its dark themes. Which is kind of funny because one of the Eyes’ previous singles is titled “Lost Boys” and so this makes me think that maybe the film was an influence to this band. But whatever the case, this album is all done very much tongue-in-cheek and The 69 Eyes carry the torch for the gothic cock rock set nicely.
Baritone lead singer, Jyrki 69, is the leader of the Eyes, sounding like a cross between Glenn Danzig & Andrew Eldritch of “Sisters Of Mercy”. But it’s the guitar work on “Back In Blood” that really caught my ear. It sounds straight from the Guns N’ Roses school of rock with influences being Blue Oyster Cult, Billy Idol and Ratt. It’s a melodic assault on the ears and unlike some goth rock bands, The 69 Eyes can actually carry a tune. But it’s the lyrics that need some work. There are a few songs on here that are quite laughable. In their attempt to keep with the vampire theme (titles such as “Kiss Me Undead”, “Lips Of Blood” & “”Hunger” litter the album), a few of the songs almost teeter on silly. The most obvious of them all is “Dead Girls Are Easy”, with it’s Motley Crue intro and with a repeating chorus that ends with “All I wanted to do is ROCK!”, it had me laughing. Probably not exactly what the Eyes were shooting for. Or were they? Seriously, almost all of the songs are so over the top that they seem to be having fun with the gory themes and bloodlust that it makes it fun to listen to.
All in all, I really like this album and it makes me want to check into their other albums. I don’t consider myself to be much of a goth rocker, but this makes me want to put on some dark mascara, drink some red wine and hang upside down.
For MY money, the best tracks are “Hunger” & “Some Kind Of Magick”.
Both are excellent rock tracks. “Hunger” is a slick ballad, “Magick” is a slow rocker with a cool riff that kind of burns under the surface. If you like those, check out “Lips Of Blood” & “Dead N Gone” for fun. If there is one track to avoid I would say “Suspiria Snow White” is probably the most repetitive and I lost interest in it after a single listen.
There are some obvious homages paid to other bands on “Back In Blood” as well with “Back In Blood” (Guns N Roses), “We Own The Night” (The Cult’s Fire Woman), “Night Watch” (BOC’s Burnin’ For You) and there is a sample of Vincent Price’s laugh in “The Good, The Bad & The Undead” that seems appropriate even if it has been used a million times.
Overall I thought this was a fun album to listen to. I can’t imagine anyone taking this completely seriously but I can say that the vampire imagery makes for an interesting theme. Also, if you dig this album, you might also want to look into their greatest hits disk called “Framed In Blood”. It sounds pretty damn good also!
Rock Rating: B