Goth metal icon Jyrki 69 of The 69 Eyes prepares for international dominance on this brand new studio album, a follow-up to the widely praised solo effort, 2017’s ‘Helsinki Vampire!’. Jyrki has certainly been a busy boy releasing the 69 Cats album as well earlier this year and rather than sit back he’s gone right in deep with this ‘American Vampire’.

What can you expect from the dark gothic uberlord? Polished set of covers featuring some well-known names to accompany this batty project like Steve Stevens, yes he of The Billy Idol band, who turns up on a twisted take of ‘White Rabbit’. It’s hanging on by a thread compared to The mighty Damneds version of the psychedelic classic originally released by Jefferson Aeroplane. Sure it’s Gothic and polished to fuck by there’s something altogether more creepy about the original and the Damneds take will never be bettered besides they are the current owners of the best version of this. However, this isn’t bad at all in a weird mixed up headfuck sort of way. There’s pretty much no psycadelicness left in it as it’s been overhauled into some sort of metallic gothic industrial mindfuck never mind headfuck.

For this outing, Jyrki has teamed up with several named collaborators including fellow Fin Tim Skold, of the metal project Shotgun Messiah and industrial outfit Skold. I was intrigued as to how he was going to take on the mighty ‘Bite It You Scum’ from filth punk GG Allin. to be fair turning it into a techno goth anthem is really good and works well. I guess it could easily have played it straight up punk but giving it a twisted Mad Max feel is great – it sounds really fresh (doesn’t feel right using words like fresh when describing a GG Allin tune) and has plenty of punch and energy.

‘Don’t You Want Me’ featuring tiffany is bonkers, quite frankly. this Human League classic gets fucked up taken down the Soho bondage club and royally tied up and twisted. I’m not even sure if I like it or not but fair play to Jyrki for being brave and really thinking outside the box on this one and is that the innocent Tiffany? Really? Like I said bonkers.

‘Decision’ is like some twisted Iggy Pop fantasy played on some proto Gary Numan meets Soft Cell via Depeche Mode tip. It’s sparse and swirling but I like it. If that twisted your Mellon then ‘Deviant Carousel’ featuring Xiu Xiu is a headfuck again Jyrki goes dark and does his best Bla bla period Iggy and why the fuck not.

The album meanders through several genres and mixes it up from hard rock to synth-pop to techno punk it’s a swirling maelstrom of flavours to be fair and Jyrki can never be accused of playing it safe or taking the easy route because he doesn’t. I’m going to persevere with this album as I don’t dislike it at all but I can’t hand on dark heart say I love it either but I think it has potential to grow on you. Dark Goth fans will already love it regardless and thats fine but there is so much to take in here it might be a while.

To be fair none of the songs drag on and the length is kept fairly tight all around the three-minute mark give or take. The album closes with the dark brooding NiN like ‘Last Dance’ featuring Not My God and further down the spiral I descend. I’m gonna dim the lights and go back in for another twisted ride if I’m no tout in a day or two call the cops.

When he rocks it’s polished and huge sounding but that’s the safe 69 Eyes route and when he veers right off the route it’s more interesting and provocative and I’m sure Jyrki is comfortable with that not standing still and not compromising in what he creates. Good on him for that I say.

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Author: Dom Daley