69 Eyes – Universal Monsters


junkheadv1tmb69 Eyes – Universal Monsters

Some bands have a singular sound that they can never change. Not only would die hard fans be pissed, but the critical gestapo would also question their sanity. Why fix what ain’t broken?

The 69 Eyes are clearly in that category, and the grind is starting to wear their goth metal schtick thin. They’re still the same ole Sisters of Mercy-meets-Billy Idol act, but no casual listener could make a distinction between “Jet Fighter Plane”, “Dolce Vita”, “Jerusalem”, or virtually any other track here.

Of course, this isn’t a bad thing. The pop-metal guitars and driving drums blend effortlessly with gloomy vocals and synth-pop tinsel all over again. Everything is beyond immediate, thrusting you into a coffin-ridden world of reckless abandon where the ghouls are reeling and the ghosts are rocking.

Yet the album never manages to top the best tracks off previous triumphs Angels or Back in Blood. The best here is “Lady Darkness”, and only the minutiae pushes it a little closer to excellence. Realistically, cool guitar rhythms and a subtle organ/piano combo won’t elevate you too high when you’ve made a career out of rewriting one song.

Even so, I’ll probably listen to Universal Monsters a hundred times. There’s always going to be something special about the bastard love child of Danzig and Tears for Fears.