Rockers give the world a rude salute
The vocals are consistently gravel-filled in the ways that only David Lee Roth/Van Halen, Thunder, Bad Co. and other old-time feel good bands are/were accustomed to pulling off. But maybe if you want to get nit-picking, this statement is a little arse-about-face as Cactus – albeit the original line-up – came before a good deal of these bands. Now they are back from their vortex adventures or whatever it was that kept them away for over three decades, it is clear that the soul hasn't changed and you can't teach an old dawg new tricks.
For track examples, take 'Cactus Music'. It is the epitome of what is embarrassing about this act, despite their impressive track record and in-house fame. For the aforementioned tune is one giant crotch-thrust, packed full of overly masculine wails and middle-aged growls, punching out some cataclysmic, pyrotechnic and (permed) biker lyrics such as 'Raise your hands up to the music // Rock, rock! // Gettin' down with Cactus music, never gonna stop'. Quite frankly, if you weren't pissed up on whiskey or hanging out with the surviving members of Thin Lizzy, this will make you want to raise your hands up to the sound system, pull the plug, loop it round your turkey-like neck and take a dive into the vacant space that was once a moshpit... .
('Gonna feel that funky backbeat, grease it up with bass guitar'.. Urgh.)
With the occasional harmonica rasps and slinky/wrinkly riffs (i.e. because these sort of chunky guitar parts were sexy back in '84), there are no secret punches, no tricks up sleeves and no room for apologies for such a blasé burst of the old school. And make no mistake; this isn't being as condescending as it sounds for this sort of music has been old school for some years now! But they don't care! 'Course they don't! Everything about this album is a two-fingered salute to any sceptics – even including the title.
And so... the time has passed. The swirls of desire omitted from the smoke machine have died down and are now a bit stinky and cling to our black leather clothing and Jack Daniels T-Shirts. We now realise the person we've been getting off with/on has a faint blonde moustache, despite the pushed up and heaving C Cup grinning up at you.
We once wanted ridiculously instant narratives booming overhead that were tales of parties and gettin' busted in the county jail (when we live in the likes of Swindon or Pratsbottom), but even though in this modern age we still haven't really learnt anything and can hardly see past our newly styled headpieces and faded-and-ripped-but-not-really-faded-and-ripped get-up, we can at least spot and dismiss the awkward moments of our forefathers. And this is our previous and most major rock 'n' roll mistake, encapsulated in a timeless glass box full of glitter and gas.
These guys are a dying breed of peacock that bristle and warm their feathers against the heat of an open-top hotrod and prepare to buckle in for the ride of their life (baby!). It is fun, but we now know the dangers involved and would much rather leave the spurs off.