Torpedo Booking Agency has announced the first of the 69 Cats European tour dates click HERE to view them, the tour will begin in May of 2015. Check back for more dates and contact Jan at Torpedo HERE to book the band in Europe.
The 69 Cats “Transylvanian Tapes”
As we reported in our review of their debut EP (see here http://thesoulofaclown.com/2014/03/22/69-cats-bad-things-ep/), The 69 Cats is actually something of a super group as it consists of Jyrki69 (The 69 Eyes) vocals, Danny B. Harvey (Rockats, Headcat) guitar and Chopper Franklin (The Cramps) bass. Since that release we have been eagerly awaiting this full release, keen to see if they can repeat that brilliance over a full LP. Thankfully the wait is over and we haven’t been left disappointed. This album, apart from a couple of instrumentals, consists of cover songs. Some of those are songs you might expect given the band members backgrounds but there are plenty of curve balls thrown in as well.
It opens with The Doors “People are Strange” which is an absolutely perfect introduction to the band and a perfect fit for their style and sound. It’s dangerous ground covering such a loved band but this version is excellent.
The more expected covers include “Sunglasses After Dark”, “Black Cadillac” and “She’s Not You”. Importantly, however, they are all given an extra twist and 69 Cats feel. In particular, the vocals of Jyrki69 given them all a darker, more sinister gothic tone which really transforms the songs. Also, if you wanted any confirmation of the respect held for Danny B Harvey in the rockabilly world then you just need to know that “She’s Not You” includes a guest appearance by the queen of rockabilly, Wanda Jackson.
In terms of the unusual covers, then the sunny “Runaway” by Del Shannon is a great example of this. It’s an absolute classic song which is given a sinister feel compared to the sweetness of the original and it works perfectly. Duran Duran’s “Girls On Film” is certainly a surprise, and takes some getting use to! It sounds almost like the Sisters of Mercy’s Andrew Eldritch doing karaoke (now that would be a sight!!!). It will certainly raises a sly grin and perhaps shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
In fact, one of the great things about this band is a sense that they are doing this out of love for the music and to have a bit of fun. That is certainly apparent on the classic “Sweet Transvestite” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which is a riot. They still find some time to deliver some straight up rockabilly with “Your My Baby”
The gothic tone returns with the final track of the album, Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” which is a twisted and scary song. Again it has you thinking of The Sisters of Mercy but actually willing to let a smile sneak across their face!
As with the previous EP, the 69 Cats are a bunch of gothic vampires who bring their own haunting style to possess all of these tracks. Even though it is delivered in a dark tone you still get the sense that the band have really enjoyed recording some of their own personal favourites. What would be perfect is for them to tour the UK so we can get to see them playing in a dark and dingy basement club, very late at night!
Read the review HERE.
This band plays cover songs so you won’t be getting anything that’s new, at least not with having the band playing their own songs. However, that does not mean you won’t hear some new takes on some old songs. Such as the opening track, “People Are Strange” as well as pretty much the rest of the songs. The 69 Cats have put their twist of Gothic sound along with rock-a-billy to these favorite classics. Even though I tend to not care much for a cover band album, that’s due to the fact that if I want to hear a cover song I can go to a bar but when I want to hear the song on an album I’ll listen to the band that made the song popular in the first place. That’s not the case with this album though and it’s because of their unique take on the songs.
I really did like the way they made these songs have a dark edge to them. While keeping the core sound of the songs, The 69 Cats give each song a new flavor of sound. They have put a nice amount of fun and zest into these songs to make the sound fresh and new. I like the groove that some have, like the track “Runaway” has a good groove while also having the Gothic sound to it and a rock-a-billy beat. The vocals are what really adds to the feeling to the songs. Jyrki 69 (The 69 Eyes), yeah what a name, has a deep voice, it’s dark, it’s the sound of Halloween, but it keeps the groove going in all the songs. With this unique sound, The 69 Cats do a fun cover album where they give these songs a new sound where if this was your first time hearing them or millionth, the songs will sound new and fresh, as well as fun.
Read the review HERE.
Cleopatra Records has posted the official audio teaser player for the debut 69 Cats album Transylvanian Tapes, it has clips of all the songs, check it out and order your copy today!
Saturday, August 2, 2014
The 69 Cats Transylvanian Tapes Cleopatra 2014
Vincent Price would have loved these guys!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Gothic rock meets rockabilly? Music has had strange bedfellows before so why not? Gothabilly is a intriguing hybrid of sound that seemingly falls apart on paper but comes together for a delightful riff on the lighter side of evil. The band has some serious credentials with former Cramps bassist Scott “Chopper” Franklin and Blondie drummer Clem Burke. This is a release that is built on the “spirit” of the music as much as the music itself and includes some excellent covers of some golden oldies and pop favorites. A cult band / super group in the making? Probably!
Some of the more interesting if not incredibly fun covers include Duran Duran’s “Girls On Film” and a grooved out riff on Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London.” The reigning Queen of rockabilly makes an appearance on the Elvis Presley hit “She’s Not You.” A “fun” record that you can actually take seriously, there is some muscle behind the tunes and the arrangements work well and are not near as “cheesy” as something you might here from the Stray Cats. Perhaps the hidden jewel in the release is the cover of “Sweet Transvestite” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” At first you think, “no way.” You walk away loving it.
Tracks: People Are Strange; Sunglasses After Dark; She’s Not You; Runaway; Sweet Transvestite; Edge of Reality; Necromance For Guitar; You’re My Baby; Werewolves of London; Black Cadillac; Girls On Film; 69 Guitars; Bela Lugosi’s Dead.
Personnel: Jyrki69: Vocals; Danny B. Harvey: Guitar; Scott “Chopper” Franklin: Bass; Clem Burke: Drums.
If you are a fan of the band members involved, you may either love this E.P. Or just think it’s wacky, myself I found myself wanting to groove like a cool cat and can’t wait to hear the full album being recorded in 2014.