Spending their nights cruising graveyards for hot chicks and their days apparently shopping for more leather, Finland’s The 69 Eyes strut and stamp like monster rockers out of the late 80s.
Formed in 1989 in Helsinki as a glam metal act, The 69 Eyes morphed into the vampire-esque 40-somethings they are today somewhere along the road to madness. The band released a debut EP in 1990, following it up with a debut LP in 1992. The goth transformation came with the release of the band’s most successful record to date, 1999s Wasting the Dawn.
Ten years later, Finnish rockers are set for the release of their tenth studio LP and their first for The End Records.
Back in Blood, a selection of gothic rock produced by Matt Hyde, is a KISS record wrapped in Billy Idol polish and peppered with HIM zest. The band’s exaggerated imagery and bizarre lyrics are the perfect fit for the glam side of things, while a nice gloomy edge keeps it real for those eyeliner-wearing freaks.
Frontman Jyrki 69, who is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Finland, carries a deep tone that will remind many of Type O Negative’s Peter Steele. Influenced by an eclectic range of vocalists and entertainers, including Elvis and Jim Morrison, he makes for a hell of a vocalist and an even better performer.
The 69 Eyes are less pure musicians and more pure entertainers, infusing each song with a sense for the theatrical. Every number and every note swells with performance and tension, approaching cheesiness with ballsy abandon.
While the band’s upbeat numbers will be sure to please fans of loud, proud rock and roll, The 69 Eyes are at their most intuitive on the slower tunes.
The last song on the record, “Eternal,” is incredibly revealing. Jyrki 69 resembles the Phantom, posturing and posing through an outlandishly beautiful ballad. The band pulls it together in the background, with drummer Jussi 69 offering vivid fills under engorged strings.
Of course, The 69 Eyes’ bread and butter is the glam/goth rock stuff.
Single “Dead Girls are Easy,” featuring a video directed by Bam Margera, is the sort of Playboy-esque rocker sure to boost beer-soaked parties. It’s a grand little shout-along anthem and it packs a respectable riff alongside uproariously over-the-top lyrics.
“Dead N Gone” is a chunky, cheesy mid-tempo scorcher with a chorus jarringly like the theme song to Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers and “Lips of Blood” makes great use of Jyrki 69’s low tones and melodramatic delivery.
All in all, Back in Blood makes for a marvellous party record for those nights that demand something positively bizarre and flagrantly tacky. As the ideal cemetery shindig companions, The 69 Eyes don their black skyscraper boots walk the line between glam and goth courageously and without excuse.Powered by Sidelines