The 69 Eyes have recently re-released three of their past albums, two of which are Devils and Angels, which were albums I was very familiar with back when they were released for the first time. In honour of them being re-released and potentially discovered for the first time by new fans, I decided to take a closer look at the pair of albums that arguably go hand-in-hand with one another.
It’s always great when an album grabs you with a powerful opening track and the opener for Devils, which is also the title track, is without question one of these songs. The triumphant chorus featuress one of those vocal lines you’ll want to sing along to at the top of your lungs, and it’s a fast paced song that holds your interest from start to finish. Indeed, it’s no surprise that The 69 Eyes chose this as a single, as it’s a good representative of the album as a whole. Later track Christina Death is another memorable song, featuring sing-along vocals from start to finish, and the storytelling in this one is magnificent.
It’s not just the fast-paced and hard-hitting songs that stand out on Devils because another highlight is the slower and melodoom-edged August Moon. It opens in quite a sparse manner, with some simplistic guitars and atmosphere to accompany the vocals, and things progress in that manner for a while before the full band kicks in and the heavy instrumentation hits you like a tonne of bricks.
Unfortunately, Devils does feature some weaker songs, such as Sister Of Charity and Beneath The Blue, which don’t quite manage to worm their way into your head and leave much of an impression on you, but as a whole, Devils is still a fantastic release and definitely doesn’t show its age – it is still an enjoyable listen over ten years later!
Like Devils, Angels also opens with its title track and it’s a great way to get things moving. It’s definitely a track that has been made with live performances in mind; aside from the ‘woahs’ that are simply begging crowds to join in with, it also with big guitar lines and a memorable vocal line that’s easy to sing along to.
Things progress well from there, at first, with highlights being songs such as Never Say Die and the mindlessly catchy Perfect Skin, but after middle song Wings And Hearts, the album just drops. It’s like The 69 Eyes put their all into the first half of the album, but then got lazy/disinterested because the latter half of Angels sounds more like filler tracks than anything else. It’s a shame, to say the least, because Angels is brimming with potential during its early tracks. It’s just unfortunate that The 69 Eyes only ended up delivering half an album, rather than a constant and well-balanced piece.