THE 69 EYES-Universal Monsters
Nuclear Blast Records
If The 69 Eyes would release a fart as their new single, it would make the top of the charts in their home country Finland. That is how popular this band is over there. For their eleventh album the band has gone more or less back to their roots by involving producer Johnny Lee Michaels again. He is the man that developed together with the group their Goth’n’Roll sound on the albums ‘Blessed Be’, ‘Paris Kills’ and ‘Devils’. What I always loved about this band is those heavy guitars which give The 69 Eyes a unique sound in their genre. Not even The Sisters Of Mercy, Lords Of The New Church or Danzig have such heavy and crunchy sounding guitar bits and parts. Only The Cult (read Billy Duffy) in their younger days comes close! The first song ,,Dolce Vita” immediately proves my point! A hard rocking guitar driven track with those typical vocals from Jyrki69, who as always steals the show with his deep dark voice that sometimes (please do not laugh) reminds me of the King of Rock And Roll Elvis Presley. Indeed, this band has a unique sound of their own. Producer Michaels is seen as the sixth band member, by being heavily involved with the arrangements and he also provides keyboards and some vocals. ,,Miss Pastis” is maybe a typical song for the band but it has some different angles as well. The song has Celtic influences that just show that The 69 Eyes are not always straight up and down gothic rock. Very nice. In a way you could say that this album could have been a successor to ‘Paris Kills’ because of the style and the general feel this CD has, but I though at the time that ‘Devils’ was a great successor as well. Further songs to look out for are ,,Stiv & Johnny’’, the surprising subtle ballad ,,Blue” and ,,Lady Darkness”. The only song that falls a bit out of place is ,,Rock ‘n’ Roll Junkie” because of the complete different sounding vocals. It does not sound as Jyrki69 at all, and that makes it a bit of a track that is put on this record by accident. But overall ‘Universal Monsters’ is a CD that will keep The 69 Eyes where they are. At the top in Finland and very much appreciated by the rest of the rock community!