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The 69 Eyes - 'The Best Of Helsinki Vampires' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/36/c8/22/The-69-Eyes-The-Best-Of-Helsinki-Vampires-32-1441392094.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 04, 2015    
 
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Does a superb job of showing the different aspects of an eclectic act at their peak.

In their Finnish homeland The 69 Eyes are pretty much superstars. Three number one albums and a further three which have charted at four or higher being impressive stats by anyone's reckoning. With this two disc, twenty-eight track "Best Of" it's extremely easy to hear why. Forming some twenty-six years ago, the early days of T69E found a band searching for their own true identity. A reliance on the sound of the U.S. Rock acts of the 1980's and fellow Fins Hanoi Rocks were a feature of debut album 'Bump 'N' Grind' and its follow ups, 'Motor City Resurrection' and 'Savage Garden', none of which have any songs featured here.

However a rethink saw influences of a more Gothic persuasion begin to filter through; The Cult and Sisters Of Mercy in evidence. However the early days were never quite consigned to the coffin, the result being an oddly seductive blending called Goth 'n' Roll! That may sound like an odd concoction and yet as T69E matured, so their sound took a form of its own that revealed obvious inspirations, yet sounded like no other. This is Dark Rock, baby!

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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A song apiece from 1997's 'Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams' and 1999's 'Wasting The Dawn' (both title tracks) illustrate the hybrid years, Gothic undertones wrapped in a more mainstream approach. However with 'Blessed Be' the Goth 'n' Roll sound was found and T69E were thrust into the Finnish mainstream. Four tracks each from the band's subsequent six albums jostle for attention here; whether it's the extremely Billy Idol-like 'Crashing High' (from 'Paris Kills'), The Cult meets Type O Negative of 'Perfect Skin' (from 'Angels') or the tongue in (a corpses) cheek of riff-heavy 'Dead Girls Are Easy' (from 'Back In Blood'), the chant-along choruses, crushing guitars and cloyingly catchy keyboards refuse to leave your mind. Singer Jyrki 69 lands his voice with such easy authority, it's impossible to ignore the drawling baritone he employs to seduce all within earshot.

The 69 Eyes' most recent album saw the light of day in 2012 and 'X' is represented by 'Tonight', a more readily accessible slice of clipped beats and melody, and 'Borderline', an almost Country Goth 'n' Roll choice. Along with 'Lost Without Love' (released as a single when this album was first issued in (just) Finland a couple of years back hence this being technically a new release), these songs highlight a departure from the tried and tested into an almost Symphonic Goth Pop sound. Factor in as well the previously iTunes-only 'X' bonus track 'Rosary Blue', where Mexican tattoo artist/TV personality Kat Von D croons alongside Jyrki, and to the credit of this collection – the early U.S. Rock sound aside – 'The Best Of Helsinki Vampires' does a superb job of showing the different aspects of an eclectic act at their peak. What comes next is anyone's guess.

Steven Reid

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