In many romantic relationships and, primarily marriages, the seven-year itch is noted as the period of the relationship, where things are most likely to falter (Personally I only tend to average three). The spark is gone; the affection and excitement has fizzled out and, very many couples tend to go their separate ways.
It’s a strange phenomenon, but one that’s been studied by the likes of the US National Centre Of Health Statistics. Beginning in the 1920’s going all the way through to the 1990’s, divorce rates averaged between 6.6 and 7.2 years across the states. It can even be found strewn throughout pop culture, notably with the movie starring MARILYN MONROE touching on the subject.
This brings us to THE 69 CATS. I originally covered them WAY back in 2014, in the formative days of this blog, when they released the debut album “Transylvanian Tapes” with their original line-up. Now, the side-project / supergroup of sorts (Consisting still of Jyrki 69 of THE 69 EYES, but alongside rockabilly veteran Danny B. Harvey, bassist Kim Nekroman from psychobilly punks NEKROMANTIX, and drummer Rat Scabies from THE DAMNED) appropriately return seven years later, with their sophomore album “Seven Year Itch”. With that said, let's see if our relationship with these cats has run out of lives...
The album, just like most typical relationships, begins with “She’s Hot” and before anyone jumps on my back about objectification here, chill, this is only an album review. I know what the internet is like these days. Anyway. The immediate blending of Jyrki’s baritone croons with the classic rock ‘n’ roll instrumentation; coupled with a subtle southern groove gives this an uplifting quality. The smooth guitar licks counter the tracks overall simplicity, as well as the slightly darkened lyrical twist, and the style here is very much evident early on.
Lead single and surprise POST MALONE cover “Hollywood’s Bleeding” follows up and it makes subtle nods to the vampiric tendencies that is the Hollywood lifestyle...it’ll suck the life out of you; eat you up and spit you out, but you’re infatuated...you’re addicted. It’s a toxic relationship with fame and fortune and this frankly very catchy track, with yet more slick six-string work, highlights Hollywood’s darker undertones. Speaking of darker tones, they continue to bridge old-school rockabilly with Jyrki’s typically more, Gothic aesthetics with tracks like “Vampire Shuffle”. There’s a quirky little play on words as they unleash “The Hell Of The Mountain King”; their take on the dramatic composition by EDVARD GRIEG, which has made me want to go to Alton Towers, while “I’m Evil” gives us a solid dose of the moody blues. Luckily not in the same vein as WILLIAM SHATNER last year.
Overall, despite being confined within a certain genre niche, there’s enough here to appease fans of classic rock ‘n’ roll, as well as rockabilly and Jyrki’s own legion of baritone-loving vampires. More polished than their debut, and obviously not AS reliant on covers, it’s certainly worth a listen. It might have been seven years, but this reviewer still has a soft spot for these cool cats, and there’s zero intention of reaching for the divorce papers just yet...nope, no itching here, well, there is, but, that’s between me and my GP.