If you’re a fan of THE 69 EYES, or ever have been during the bands gothic-era, you’ll no doubt know of front man Jyrki 69 (real name Jyrki Linnankivi) and his love of all things blues and ELVIS style rock ‘n’ roll. The influence has been growing over time, and is unmistakable on the track “Borderline” taken from the most recent album “X”, with the tracks video even being filmed in Louisiana, the home of the blues, so really then it comes as no surprise that Jyrki would eventually put his efforts into a side project where he could focus purely on his musical love affair with this southern style of rockabilly groove, and he has. Meet, THE 69 CATS. Featuring members of THE CRAMPS and BLONDIE, this super-group of sorts have just released their début album; “Transylvanian Tapes”…let’s see what this Helsinki vampire’s sunk his teeth into…
Kicking off with a cover of THE DOORS classic “People Are Strange”, here he pays homage to the late Jim Morrison with a fresh take on a timeless song, a great album opener, before next up we’re treated to a reworked edition of “Sunglasses After Dark” by The Cramps, the rockabilly style really suiting this track and it’s a fun, energetic number.
Next up we’ve got another unmistakable classic, “Runaway”, by DEL SHANNON, originally released in 1961 but covered numerous times over the years; it’s still a great song to this day and always a pleasure to hear, which can also be said for “Edge Of Reality”, a brilliant piece by Elvis taken from his movie “Live A Little, Love A Little” in 1968. A few more covers in the form of “Werewolves Of London” by WARREN ZEVON and the surprise inclusion of “Girls On Film” by DURAN DURAN keep the album ticking on, some nice smooth instrumental sections like “Necromance For Guitar” and “69 Guitars”, before we finish up on “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”, a shortened down but absolutely brilliant cover of the BAUHAUS track from 1982, keeping his gothic roots in plain sight; superb.
As much as we long to see the next instalment from The 69 Eyes, seeing the effort and passion that’s gone into The 69 Cats it’s literally impossible to complain about the Finnish goth’s absence. This may be cover-heavy in content, but they’re quality covers. “Transylvanian Tapes” is well worth a listen for any neutral fan of rock ’n’ roll, and let’s just hope tapes means plural, and we’ll one day see another instalment. Cats have nine lives after all…or should I say 69?
The album “Transylvanian Tapes” is available on iTunes HERE.
Read the review online HERE.