Artist: The 69 Cats
Title: Seven Year Itch
Genre: Gothabilly / Rockabilly / Rock
Release Date: 16th April 2021
Label: Cleopatra Records
What happens if you put a legendary Rock guitar player, one of the most famous vocalists in the Goth scene, the most outstanding bass player in the Psychobilly scene and the drummer of the first ever British Punk band into a studio? A very versatile Rock’n’Roll album! Danny B. Harvey (HeadCat 13), Jyrki 69 (THE 69 EYES), Kim Nekroman (Nekromatix) and Rat Scabies (The Damned) delivered an album that is one of the most outstanding releases of this year.
While the band’s previous album ‘Tranylvanian Tapes’ seemed to be a release where THE 69 CATS tried to find out how their sound should be like, by covering legendary songs, ‘Seven Years Itch’ consists of surprising, high quality covers and songs the bandmembers members wrote themselves and altogether it makes a fantastic album breathing the spirit of Rock’n’Roll. The party starts with ‘She’s Hot’ and it’s the perfect song to open a show or get your own party started. The music has significantly more power than on the previous album, the bass line by Kim Nekroman kicks some serious ass and the song offers every musician involved to show the best of their talent.
You might know POST MALONE’s ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’ already, when I heard it for the first time, I was curious which Goth or Rock band would cover it first. (If you don’t know the original song, you should check out Post Malone’s fantastic Goth style performance at the Grammy Awards 2021). THE 69 CATS covered this fantastic song about the dark sides of Hollywood and released it as their first single of the new album. The pushing drumline drives you forward, Jyrki’s dark vocals give the lyrics a really dark atmosphere and underline Hollywood’s dark and dramatic side. The guitar solo Danny plays in the middle of the song might make your fingers itch to play air-guitar. The song made it on my ‘Freeway Playlist’ immediately and will be on many playlists for the Goth dancefloor for sure.
‘You’re The Kind of Girl I need’ kicks in with full force immediately and somehow it reminds me of a summer-night on the dancefloor. The guitarhooks are really great and it’s one of these songs you want to listen loud in your car while singing along on an endless road into the sundown. And the whole song ends with a finale furioso on guitar. ‘Good Time To Die’ is the song that definitely appeals to my Goth side. The song is a bit slower than the first songs that got the party started so you find time to enjoy this sad and romantic song with a great melody. ‘The Devil’s gonna get you’ is a haunting and a catchy line and you’ll find yourself singing along for sure while Jyrki once more proves that he knows how to use his voice to give you the chills. If Quentin Tarantino ever needs a title song for a movie, he should ask THE 69 CATS for a performance of this song.
‘Graveyard Blues’ has a nice small club like atmosphere. Don’t get me wrong here, the production is exactly to the purpose, it’s not too sophisticated but not as a cheap as a real “garage production”, it matches the blues attitude of the song perfectly and Danny’s fingerwork on the intermediate guitar parts are stunning. ‘Hey World’ while bring back the voice of legendary Rock’n’Roll singer SKY SAXON. In his interview with Reflections of Darkness, Jyrki69 revealed that Danny had recorded an album with Sky Saxon and that this song was still unfinished. The son is very up-tempo and the drumming would suit an early punk song as well, while the guitarparts sound simple, the intermediate parts and solos are still complex and a pleasure listening to.
‘Let’s Go Psycho’ was recorded by Danny and singer Brigitte Handley app 20 years ago and released as an album track. THE 69 CATS turned it into a more powerful and darker song that will be a real crowd mover for sure and see people slam and dance whenever the band is live on stage. My favourite part of the song is the line “We are the victims of the techno-age…”, the very up-tempo song slows down for a few moments and Jyrki’s dark, haunting spoken voice vocals gives you the chills. For the chorus parts Jyrki’s vocals were mixed with the original ones of Brigitte Handley, that gives the song a very unique touch and the shrieking woman strongly reminds you strongly of the famous movie.
‘Vampire Shuffle’ is very welcome moment to slow down a bit and it’s a very danceable song for the Gothabilly dancefloor with excellent guitarwork and Jyrki’s vocals remind me strongly of legendary Elvis Presley. ‘Teddy Boy Boogie’ was originally released by CRAZY CAVAN & THE RHYTHM ROCKERS in the early 1970s and is one of the most important songs of the so called ‘Rockabilly-Revival’. THE 69 CATS gave the song an amazing update, a bit more up-tempo and stronger guitar intermediate part, merged with Jyrki’s very dark vocals you get a good idea of how these guys liked to pass their free time. ‘The Hell Of The Mountain King’ is and instrumental piece and guitarplaying per excellence. Based on a motive of famous ‘Hall Of The Mountain King’ that was covered by many Metal and Rock bands, THE 69 CATS made this a ground-breaking Rockabilly homage. To make it shirt: Danny B. Harvey at his best.
The lyrics of ‘I’m Evil’ would make a perfect plot for a good horror or psycho movie and the rather slow tempo and Jyrki’s slow but perfectly pronounced vocals give it a really evil touch. This is gonna be a highlight live on stage, preferably in a real Rock’n’Roll location. Just listen and let your mind create your own mind a nice horrormovie starring THE 69 CATS. The show closes with ‘It Ain’t enough’ staring Larry Wallis (you might know him as a founding member of MOTÖRHEAD), who released this song on his compilation ‘The Sound Of Speed’ in 2017. THE 69 CATS gave the song a bit more intensity and a slightly harder edge and Jyrki’s vocals merged with the original one’s sound fantastic. A great homage to this legend of Rock and Metal music.
To be honest, when the last tune faded, I thought ‘It ain’t enough’ and hoped for some hidden bonus tracks. ‘Seven Years’ itch is a record made and produced by guys who love to play and perform live on stage for an audience, that loves everything from Rock, Rockabilly, Psychobilly, Gothabilly or just having a good time. You’ll find songs to rock, to bop, to slam, to chill and the most important: to have a good time and you can be sure, that whenever THE 69 CATS will be live on stage, this will be the party of the year.
01. She’s Hot
02. Hollywood’s Bleeding
03. (You’re) The Kind Of Girl I Need
04. Good Time To Die
05. Graveyard Blues
06. Hey World feat. Sky Saxon
07. (Let’s Go) Psycho
08. Vampire Shuffle
09. Teddy Boy Boogie
10. The Hell Of The Mountain King
11. I’m Evil
12. It Ain’t Enough feat. Larry Wallis
Jyrki69 – Vocals
Danny B. Harvey – Guitar
Kim Nekroman – Bass
Rat Sacbies – Drums
Total: 10 / 10