Fireworks

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The 69 Eyes - 'Universal Monsters' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/9b/ae/c7/The-69-Eyes-Universal-Monsters-12-1474143542.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 17, 2016    
 
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With their first album in four years they sound as good as ever, if not better.

Having, in recent years, meandered from the signature Goth 'n' Roll sound they created across the acclaimed 'Blessed Be', 'Paris Kills', 'Devils' and 'Angels' albums, Finland's The 69 Eyes have once again joined forces with the producer of that cracking quartet, Johnny Lee Michaels. The result, 'Universal Monsters', is a tightly focused album that swipes aside the less individual 'Back In Blood' (2009) and 'X' (2012), confirming T69E as the force we know they can be. Think Billy Idol smooching with Type O Negative as they nod admiringly to The Cult, The Stooges and New Model Army and you'll immediately grab an armful of what this album lays down.

The deep, resonating tones of Jyrki 69 are unmistakable. That he sets these mesmerizing dollops of syrupy goodness over breathtakingly energetic bursts of dark atmosphere such as 'Dolce Vita' or 'Jet Fighter Plane' (T69E go political? I'd suggest so... they'd beg to differ), is captivating in the extreme. As if the atmosphere wasn't heady enough, sample a slice of 'Blackbird Pie'; strings and clanging bells combining a Led Zeppelin swirl to a Doors Psychedelicism via the considered thump and grind of Goth 'n' Roll. It's this ability that producer, keyboard player, and crucially, arranger, Lee Michaels has of adding huge variation, while always retaining the key signature sound of T69E, that really sets apart the albums he collaborated on.

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'Universal Monsters' proves no different; 'Miss Pastis' putting the pedal to the floor, hi-hat pummelled as a pulsating accordion break sets a strangely intoxicating tone, while 'Jerusalem' almost slides and slithers as though The Pet Shop Boys had discovered a big dangling pair of Heavy Metal balls! However, that it all sounds like no one else other than T69E, is why this album hits the heights it does.

The 69 Eyes are back and with their first album in four years they sound as good as ever, if not better. If that praise seems monstrously high, I have no qualms in stating it is universally deserved.

Steven Reid

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