The 69 Eyes

Framed in Blood: The Very Blessed of the 69 Eyes

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Goth rock moved in many different directions in the '90s and early 2000s, ranging from high-tech, heavily programmed electro-goth at one end to more organic, guitar-powered goth at the other. And goth rock doesn't get much more guitar-powered than Finland's the 69 Eyes, who have successfully combined the gloominess of Bauhaus and the Sisters of Mercy with influences that include the Doors, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, the Stranglers and even headbangers like Guns N' Roses, Rob Zombie and Motörhead. The 69 Eyes may be the most rock & roll band in goth rock (perhaps their music should be called "goth & roll"), and in fact, there are plenty of goth purists who will no doubt hear Framed in Blood: The Very Blessed of the 69 Eyes and insist that this best-of CD isn't really goth rock. They will claim that rockin' tracks like "Crashing High," "Ghettoway Car," "Too Much to Lose" and the Scandinavian hit "Gothic Girl" are merely punky hard rock or alternative rock with goth overtones; that no true goth band would have all the Lemmy Kilmister-isms that assert themselves on "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams," "Tang" and "Velvet Touch." But whether one sees these performances (which span 1995-2002) as true goth or merely goth-influenced, the fact is the 69 Eyes are infectious and a lot of fun. The word "fun," of course, isn't often used in connection with goth rock (which is known for its ultra-seriousness), but it's a word that easily describes the 69 Eyes on their own material as well as their clever remake of Blondie's "Call Me." For those who haven't experienced the "goth & roll" pleasures of the 69 Eyes, Framed in Blood would be an excellent starting point.

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