The aptly titled X, is the tenth studio album by the “Helsinki Vampires,” aka the gothic rock band The 69 Eyes. Having had their hands in various genres of rock and metal over the years (including their early glam metal days), the The 69 Eyes used to be quite diverse, but no so much anymore. They are pretty well rooted in the gothic rock scenes these days.
I am not sure that anyone really needs an introduction into The 69 Eyes these days, but in case you are not in the know, they are a gothic rock band hailing from Finland and their sound is akin to The Cure. They have also been extremely inspirational on the gothic rock scene for successful bands like H.I.M.
On to the actual review of their latest effort, X, and The 69 Eyes is back to their old tricks musically. The songs are your typical gothic rock fare, but performed like only The 69 Eyes can do it. At times, you even hear some hints of their glam rock roots in here as well. Lyrically, The 69 Eyes strays a little from their typicaly vampire tales and sings more about forbidden love and gloomy tales.
At times, such as the opening track, Love Runs Away, the songs are a little more upbeat than expected, but it works well for them. The themes are still dark, so there are mismatches at times, but never to the point that it affects the success of a song.
The highlight of the album is I Love the Darkness in You, which is an upbeat musical track that still remains true to the darkness of the title. The song ventures into happy moments at times, but is firmly rooted in the darkness that is a song from The 69 Eyes. It is injected with a little 80’s pop just to add a little fun to it.
The western-flavored ballad Borderline is another very interesting song on X. At first listen, I was not into Borderline at all, but with more listens, it has really grown on me. The almost-country feel to it just works on the album and the guitar tones are intense.
The party-rock song I’m Ready is something a little out of the box for the band as well, but once again, they put their stamp on it and make the track fun and respectable.
The first single from the album, Red, is an interesting song, but not very dynamic. Perhaps the choice of making Red the first single was because it was more of a synopsis of what The 69 Eyes is all about, but it is not one of my favorites on the album.
As the title suggests, I Know What You Did Last Summer is a horror-inspired gothic/horror rock anthem of sorts. While a little too repetitve at times, the guitar work is up to the task and pushes this one over the top.
Overall, if you want to hear how the one of the originators of true gothic rock do it, you could do much worse than The 69 Eyes’ X. It is not as good as their earlier work, but is well worth a listen.
X Track Listing:
1. Love Runs Away – 4:23
2. Tonight – 3:44
3. Black – 4:38
4. If You Love Me the Morning After – 4:21
5. Red – 3:47
6. I Love the Darkness in You – 3:19
7. Borderline – 3:54
8. I’m Ready – 4:10
9. I Know What You Did Last Summer – 5:05
10. When a Love Comes to an End – 3:50
1. Rosary Blue (iTunes bonus track) – 5:15
Kat Von D – Female vocals on “Rosary Blue”
The 69 Eyes Members:
Jyrki 69 – Lead vocals
Timo-Timo – Guitar
Bazie – Guitar
Archzie – Bass
Jussi 69 – Drums