Guitarist & Bassist for the Heathen Apostles, The Cramps, Nick Curran & the Lowlifes

69 Cats EP Gets 9.5 in Venia Magazine

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 –

Read the review online HERE