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Cactus: V

It's been 32 years, but Cactus are back! Featuring original members Carmine Appice (drums), Jim McCarty (guitar) and Tim Bogert (bass, along with former Savoy Brown singer Jimmy Kunes (original Cactus vocalist Rusty Day dies in 1982), this first album since 1972's Restrictions is a "ot 'n' sweaty" mix of crunchy hard rock and blues that will be sure to please fans of the bands earlier material.

Called the "American Led Zeppelin" back in 1970, Cactus actually had more in common with bands like Grand Funk Railroad, Savoy Brown, Free, Mountain, and Humble Pie. Featuring thick and grinding blues rock guitar from McCarty, and the powerhouse rhythm section of Appice and Bogert, Cactus were one of the loudest and heaviest of the 70's hard rock brigade. This new incarnation sees the band older but certainly wiser and still capable of tearin' down the walls. Singer Kunes does a great job of belting out some powerful blues and heavy rock wailings, as he does so well on the kick ass "Muscle and Soul" and the Whitesnake-like feel of "Cactus Music". You like biting blues guitar, searing harmonica, husky vocals, and heavy rhythms? Look no further than "Groover" or "Doing Time", two great blues rockers that sees the band shuffling with youthful vigor.

McCarty struts his stuff on the slow blues of "Day For Night", a rip snortin' blues vehicle complete with plenty of stormy licks and Kunes' powerful vocals. "Your Brother's Keeper" is a surprisingly funky track, with Appice and especially Bogert working overtime with plenty of tasty grooves, and "Part of the Game" contains some ultra heavy guitar chords that bring to mind some of Robin Trowers 70's albums like Bridge of Sighs and Victims of the Fury. "Gone Train Gone" is another fine heavy rocker, while the instrumental "Jazzed" is a real workout for the whole band and has some meaty wah-wah guitar licks from McCarty.

The one drawback here is that the CD contains perhaps too many songs, and a few are a little redundant, but otherwise this is a fine comeback release from one of the 70's finest bands who never seem to get their due. Hopefully that's all about to change and Cactus can now find some new fans here in 2006.

Track Listing
1. Doing Time
2. Muscle and Soul
3. Cactus Music
4. Groover
5. High in the City
6. Day for Night
7. Living for Today
8. Shine
9. Electric Blue
10. Your Brother's Keeper
11. Blues for Mr. Day [Instrumental]
12. Part of the Game
13. Gone Train Gone
14. Jazzed [Instrumental )

Added: July 18th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Escapi Music
Hits: 4570
Language: english

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