The 69 Eyes - Angels

Bruce Turnbull 19/09/2007

Rating: 3/5

One of Finland's most retold success stories, The 69 Eyes have been crooning out melodic, gothic rock for over fifteen years, and after a long lay off, the band are finally back with their follow up to 2004's “Devils”, with its more uplifting counterpart, “Angels”. Sadly, not a lot of you will be conversant with their dark, atmospheric hard rock stylings, but truth be told, they really rule the roost on the continent and have been earning their stripes over here too with a set of live shows that have raised their profile irrevocably. I'm not going to say “Angels” is the most pugilistic effort to ever surface from the band, or in fact the genre, but it has its charms and unlike so many of their competitor's endeavours, they aren't few and far between.

Kicking things into gear with the straightforward title track, the band showcase all their wonderful attributes in three and half glorious minutes of pure, undiluted hard rock, tinged with their habitually dark, comedic values. This slutty, sleazy beast of an album just keeps dishing out the goods with the amazingly catchy “Rocker” and synth drenched rollercoaster “Perfect Skin”. The slick production highlights this band's commerciality with floodlight effect, making “Angels” a very professional, very enjoyable listen. The rather deep vocals and obtuse angle the band often take may put off a number of punters, but if you've heard the seductive Finns in the past, you'll lap up every beer soaked minute.

Unfortunately, there just isn't enough variation to keep an interest, with every track being practically identical and no real deviation to speak of. Still, the glam rock roots shine through like a thousand suns and the European sparkle all Finnish releases conjure - be it Sonata Arctica, Lordi or Children of Bodom - grabs the listener by the horns and pulls them onto the shadier side of Sunset Strip; the place Motley Crue wanted to take you, but couldn't find a parking space.