Album Review

69 Cats - Translyvanian Tapes

Released August 5, 2014
Lisa Sanchez
The 69 Cats are a punk/rockabilly collaboration of old dudes who played in bands people used to care about. So now they're here to remind audiences they exist with their debut album Transylvanian Tapes. This album sounds like the soundtrack for a Halloween party at a nursing home.
Transylvanian Tapes is what my nightmares are made of. Not in the spooky, Goth motif the guys in The 69 Cats are going for, but in the way that badly executed song covers and 1950s drive-in commercials give me the creeps. The 69 Cats' renditions of "People Are Strange", "Werewolves of London", and Rocky Horror Picture Show's "Sweet Transvestite" are totally cringe-worthy. They're so bad they seem purposely mocking. But, that can't be true because lead singer Jyrki 69 (not a joke) sings it like he thinks he's selling it. No one wears a top hat and cape in public unless they're really serious about something.
The rest of the tracks sound like standard rockabilly fare, complete with references to funerals, Cadillacs, and any other iconography that might be present in your local hillbilly tattoo shop. On songs like "Sunglasses After Dark" and "Bela Lugosi's Dead" I feel physically uncomfortable at how hard The 69 Cats are trying to be mysterious, morbid, or alluring. I just want them to stop playing. I just wonder if those sunglasses are prescription and if the band is trying to make fun of the music in spaghetti westerns or emulate it.
Transylvanian Tapes is one rotten pumpkin full of pulp. It's not original, recognizable, or entertaining. The only songs I could distinctly remember were the covers and the only reason was because they were so butchered. Other than that, one bad steel-guitar track to another didn't sound any different. The only scary thing about The 69 Cats' Transylvanian Tapes is that many grandfathers in that much leather.