Goth n Roll band featuring Jyrki 69 (69 Eyes), Danny B. Harvey (The Headcat, Rockats) & Chopper Franklin (The Cramps, Nick Curran & the Lowlifes).

Reviews

“Transylvanian Tapes” Review on Gav The Gothic Chav

Transylvania-Tapes-tile.jpgIf 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.


The New 69 Cats Album Reviewed On Soul Of A Clown

The 69 Cats “Transylvanian Tapes”
image
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!
imageRead the review HERE.


Transylvanian Tapes Gets An “A” On Shakefire

From Shakefire.com:

Transylvanian Tapes (The 69 Cats)
Label: Cleopatra
Genre: Rock
Release Date: Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Grade: A
 
With the opening track remake of the song, “People Are Strange”, it is the perfect song that would describe the band, The 69 Cats. This band of oddTransylvania Tapes cover songs, some dare I say even a bit strange in the way they are played, has been put together an album called, “The Transylvanian Tapes” where they have blended some rock and roll with rock-a-billy and Gothic to make a whole different kind of music. This is the first time that I think I have ever heard music that should be called rock-goth-a-billy. What a word but it really is that kind of music and it’s a new kind of music that really is a unique set of songs.

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.


The 69 Cats “Transylvanian Tapes” 4 Star Review

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The 69 Cats Transylvanian Tapes Cleopatra 2014

Transylvania Tapes cover

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.

4 Stars

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.


Review of “Bad Things” EP on Punk Globe

  The 69 Cats, consist of the vocalist Jyrki69 (The 69 Eyes), Danny B. Harvey (Rockats, Headcat) on guitar and Chopper Franklin (The Cramps) on bass, emerge with the title single of their first EP “Bad Things”. This is definitely a weird kind of supergroup, let’s see what they have created sound wise.
Kicking off this weird and wonderful journey into rockabilly cover madness, comes in the form of “Bad Things” notably from the tv series “True Blood”. From the off the distinct vocals of Jyrki69 are haunting, the guitars are very vintage sounding but make this a very good version. Think along the lines that this could be the theme to a spaghetti western instead of a glittery vampire series.
“Black No 1” by Type O Negative get the treatment next, after loving they original for many years I find myself grooving along. The creepiness seems to be intensified from the original as the female backing vocals give it a very spooky feel, I think Pete Steele would be proud of this version and be grooving with Elvira or the Munsters.
  The final track to get the 69 Cats treatment is Elvis’s “Flaming Star”, knowing how much Jyrki69 has been influenced by Elvis over the years, this seems to be a good homage to the king.

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.

You can read the review on Punk Globe by clicking HERE.

Review of the 69 Cats’ Viper Room Show

A review of the 69 Cats’ April 21st appearance at the Viper Room in West Hollywood has been posted, it is written by Lizzie Rose and features photos by Lexa Vonn. You can read it in it’s entirety HERE.

69 Cats

The 69 Cats are a Los Angeles and Helsinki based Gothabilly band. The supergroup consists of Jyrki 69 of The 69 Eyes on vocals, Danny B. Harvey of Stray Cats and Head Cats on lead guitar, and Chopper Franklin of The Cramps on bass. Filling in on drums the night of their recent show was Todd T Burr. They returned to their Los Angeles home, The Viper Room for their very first full-set show. I had met and seen the trio onstage on their previous visit back in October 2013, when the band was just starting to fall into place, and I fell in love. Of course, I was not going to miss it this time, so I hopped on the first bus headed to Hollywood. 

Why an 8-hour bus ride instead of a 1-hour flight? I’m a hopeless romantic in all aspects of life. Something about hopping on a bus for a show just excites me a little bit more. 8PM finally rolled around, so my friend and founder of The Plastics, Lexa Vonn and I headed on over to the venue. We got there just a few minutes before the boys hit the stage, so we headed backstage to say hello and only found the lead singer Jyrki 69 there preparing to go onstage. We let him do his thing and walked out after him to watch the show from the very beginning. The band got into their own covers of classics such as, Type O Negative’s “Black No.1,” True Blood’s version of “Bad Things,” The Doors’ “People Are Strange” and even a little dark rockabilly cover of Jyrki 69’s own song “Lost Boys.”

It was pretty amazing to listen to their covers. Even a little more interesting was listening to and watching Jyrki 69 sing and dance to Elvis’s “Heartbreak Hotel.” If you’re a longtime fan of The 69 Eyes like myself, you already know what I mean. The man’s voice is hauntingly similar to the King’s, only a tiny bit less sweet. And he’s definitely got moves like Elvis, so it caught me off guard for a moment; I could have sworn it was the King himself singing that song onstage. Finally, they closed the set with their own version of Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” which drove the whole venue wild.

Afterwards, the band allowed fans to enter their backstage dressing room for pictures and autographs. It was a really sweet thing to watch, as not many artists allow such a thing. The after party was held at the Sunset Strip’s world famous Rainbow Bar and Grill. There, fans were able to have a few drinks and converse with the boys. Again, I found that to be really humbling and sweet of them as not many artists do those kinds of things. I personally didn’t really get to spend time with them this time around as I had previously done last time they were in town. I thought the rest of the world deserved to know how sweet these men actually are offstage. Overall, it was a great show and a great night.

You can keep up with the band on their various sites:

the69cats.com

facebook.com/the69cats

twitter.com/69catsofficial

reverbnation.com/the69cats


“Bad Things” EP Reviewed at Metal Talk

the 69 cats

The 69 Cats consist of the vocalist Jyrki69 (The 69 Eyes), Danny B. Harvey (Rockats, Headcat) on guitar and Chopper Franklin (The Cramps) on bass and emerge with the title single of their first EP ‘Bad Things’.

This is definitely a weird kind of supergroup; let’s see what they have created sound wise.

This weird and wonderful journey into rockabilly cover madness starts with ‘Bad Things’, notably from the TV series True Blood. From the off the distinct vocals of Jyrki69 are haunting, the guitars are very vintage sounding but make this a very good version. Think along the lines that this could be the theme to a spaghetti western instead of a glittery vampire series.

‘Black No 1’ by Type O Negative gets the treatment next. After loving the original for many years I find myself grooving along. The creepiness seems to be intensified from the original as the female backing vocals give it a very spooky feel; I think Pete Steele would be proud of this version and be grooving with Elvira or the Munsters.

69 cats

The final track to get the 69 Cats treatment is Elvis’ ‘Flaming Star’ and knowing how much Jyrki69 has been influenced by Elvis over the years, this seems to be a good homage to the king.

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.

69 cats

The 69 Cats are:
Jyrki69 (THE 69 EYES) – Vocals
Danny B. Harvey (ROCKATS, HEADCAT) – Guitar
Chopper Franklin (THE CRAMPS) – Bass

Read the review at Metal Talk HERE


Bad Things EP Gets 9.5 in Venia Mag

Green_logo_smRelease date: 25.11.2013
Label: Cleopatra Records
Grade: 9.5/10

Grown from the roots of rockabilly with a dangerous dark omen, The 69 Cats, formation consisting of the vocalist Jyrki69 (The 69 Eyes), Danny B. Harvey (Rockats, Headcat) on guitar and Chopper Franklin (The Cramps) on bass, already with the title single of their first EP, the theme from the popular HBO series “True Blood”, whose sample was also available for those of us in the countries where iTunes is simply not working, and has dangerously stirred the rockabilly ground.

And then The 69 Cats spiced up the atmosphere and on November 25th (just in time for the first winter days in our neck of the woods) released their first EP. iTunes was not merciful this time, as well as any other service in which the residents of the United States and some European countries can enjoy in a real rockabilly treat for just under 3 bucks. How this treat came to my ears will be kept as a small, sweet secret with another thanks to the “source”, with the note that a better dose of morning awakening I could hardly have expected.

All those who think they know a thing or two on rock’n’roll know at least the basic definition of rockabilly, and the fascination by it pertinent to these musicians consisting such a lively and interesting trio is also well known, therefore there isn’t much else to do than go on a journey clocking just under 10 minutes which is opened by “Bad Things (As Heard on True Blood)”. Already the idea itself to cover the song, performed originally by Jace Everett and in the past few years came to be one of the most popular television theme songs ever is very bold, and all doubts in the originality and courage of its new version are immediatelly smitten mostly thanks to the colourful voice of Jyrki, which is additionally deepend by the genuine rockabilly sound of the good old rock’n’roll from his best days. And just when you dare to do some over-the-top dance moves in your apartment, or even office, there comes another classic.

Type O Negative – the band everything has been said about, and nothing told. Type O Negative, the legendary gothic metal band from New York, led by the legend and one of the best male baritons that ever walked the planet – Peter Steele (RIP). Besides his colourful voice and hypnotizing green eyes, Peter Steele was known for his “vampire effect” he had on his mostly female audience, and “Black No 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)” is undoubtedly one of the unforgettable traces in the legacy of the band which in many ways changed and shaped the world gothic metal scene. Yes, The 69 Cats have put their version of his evergreen on their EP, no less. Rockabilly, or more precise, darkobilly feeling here is so strong that you get goosebumps while the notes get under your skin. Jyrki is brilliant and in certain moments you get the feeling that he completely merged with the tone of voice of Peter Steele which we got used to while “Loving you – loving you – love love loving you was like loving the dead…” echoes through the room, up until that millisecond when you realise that The 69 Cats have merged with “Black No. 1”, completely naturally and simple, as if it always waited for a rockabilly attire, dark and seductive just like Peter Steele was.

And just when I thought it can’t get more bold and better, there comes “Flaming Star”. It was also the song I anticipated the most, because who can get close to the King anyhow? History writes the pages with golden letters on Elvis Presley, his life and work, through his songs and generation of fans the King lives on, and “Flaming Star” just rose from the ashes. Like the Phoenix. And shined a new shine, slightly darker, more modern, a tad more expressive. All those who know and follow Jyrki’s home band The 69 Eyes, know that he is not only a great admirer of Elvis, but certainly also one fo the rare voices that, if he were alive, would have intrigued the King himself. Always and again unsurpassed, Jyrki has come dangerously close to the always unsurpassed Elvis version (is it just because of my sentimentality and life-long connection to Elvis and his opus, you can judge yourself after listening to this version), and his tone of voice, completed with a rockabilly spirit, certainly makes “Flaming Star” the new flaming star on the pretty dark rockabilly sky.

The 69 Cats are definitely a true refreshment on the world rockabilly scene in all its nuances. Masterful playing is undoubtable, vocal brilliance present, completeness in arrangements clear and pure like freshly washed glass. All this, coupled with a very bold choice of songs that have been brought to the very top of perfection in their new attire, like in their original versions, bring the hunger for more. I hope for an album, I hope for gigs on the European soil. Because The 69 Cats are a must see in every aspect!

Rockabilly fans – open your eyes and take a deep breath – the cats are coming!

Review by: Ivana Sataić – ivana@venia-mag.net

Read the review online HERE