Hailing from Helsinki, Finland, and practicing the art of rock and roll, The 69 Eyes have been working the stage since 1989. Somehow, it took two decades for one of their albums to come across my desk. Back in Blood is their tenth studio album and their first for new label, The End Records. I swear I have heard the band name before, but I cannot quite place where. I am sure whatever exposure I have is due to crossing the televised and Internet based path of Bam Margera, a big fan of the band and the man who directed the first promo video for the album, "Dead Girls are Easy." So, with all of that said, I cannot say I had any idea what they were going to sound like, I was entering the experience fresh and untainted.
In the darkened room, I pressed play and sat back, ready for just about anything. The title track started and it caught me off guard. Can you believe that? There I was supposedly ready for anything and the first song takes me by surprise. I was expecting something a little more metallic in nature. This opening track, and the entire album for that matter, is very much a rollicking rock and roll album through a Gothic filter.
As I listen through the 48-minute long album, I detect hints of Billy Idol, Misfits, HIM, Danzig, and even a touch of Type O Negative. Yes, sounds like a lot, but I sense all of them here, but it also does not sound exactly like any of them. Think of it like taking a couple songs from each of those bands, distilling them and aging them in the dark recesses where the mushrooms grow and spiders dwell. The result is enlivened in the final execution with some good, old-school rock and roll. Let the party begin!
There really isn't anything that I would call "metal" about this release, although I see them lumped in with that genre more often than not. Of course, I could just be misreading my music-genre-filter, which has been known to go on the fritz every now an then. Still, I hear what I hear and with Back in Blood I hear rock and roll that begs to be played loud!