Flaunting black felinity, psychobilly mavens scratch graves of fallen heroes and welcome a certain Rat in their meowing midst.
“We are the victims of the techno age”: complaints rarely sound so defiantly as this captivating acknowledgment on “(Let’s Go) Psycho” – a nicely wrought centerpiece of THE 69 CATS’ sophomore offering. High on swagger, “Seven Year Itch” reunites THE 69 EYES’ singer Jyrki 69 and THE HEAD CAT’s six-stringer Danny B. Harvey seven years down the line after their ensemble’s debut “Transylvanian Tapes” saw the light of night. Since then, the former was seen within his motherlode and the latter managed to present the eponymous album by HEADCAT 13, yet the two are back now, in the company of NEKROMANTIX’s contrabassist Kim Nekroman and THE DAMNED’s legend Rat Scabies hitting the skins on a brief, albeit irresistible, bunch of originals and, unlike its predecessor, just a few covers.
Perhaps, the quartet’s brilliantined reading of Post Malone’s “Hollywood’s Bleeding” – released as a precursor to this record – may feel like a nod towards a fad and their treatment of Grieg in “The Hell Of The Mountain King” isn’t significantly fiercer than Satan’s Holiday” by THE LANCASTERS, but there’s a thematical thread running through it all, and a vigor that makes even most innocent numbers seem sinister. Of course, the belligerent “Vampire Shuffle” does not belong to those, while the stomping romanticism of the twangy “Good Time To Die” or the relentless “(You’re) The Kind Of Girl I Need” can’t be denied. Moreover, the infectiously heavy riffs of “She’s Hot” must give a cadaver a voice, and the fiery licks also lighting up the funky “Graveyard Blues” – so, unsurprisingly, the awesome foursome can easily raise the dead. Which they do on the garage rock of “Hey World” and the ebullient “It Ain’t Enough” – where, respectively, Sky Saxon and Larry Wallis join in the tuneful noise.
Rather reserved, if full of panache, the band’s take on “Teddy Boy Boogie” pours piano all over its stylish sheen, yet “I’m Evil” is as delicate as it gets for a song with “damn” woven into the chorus – and as hilarious, too. Such humor, and music, will make “Seven Year Itch” dear to many a rebel heart. A good scratching has a great soundtrack now!