July 13, 2006

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Cactus, V
Escapi Music, 2006

First album in 30 years from the saloon-metal all-star band that featured drummer Carmine Appice as one big-name touchstone, capitalizing on his prior initiation into major label corporate skullduggery with Vanilla Fudge. A thick limb of arena-rock's family tree, Appice later played with Jeff Beck and Mike Bloomfield in other supergroups throughout the 60s and 70s, and with that much time elapsed since, one expects to hear four-track blooz slop that was recorded on the fly over a weekend, but production was fine-tuned by Appice and applies boot to gluteus in many spots. Tim Bogart and Jim McCarty (the other one, not the Yardbird) are present, and with the addition of Savoy Brown singer Jimmy Kunes, well-hell, a whole lotta Foghat-meets-Soundgarden goin on. Kunes' voice is a photogenic holler thatswitches to Ian Astbury mode in the Cult-like "Doing Time," Coverdale in "Muscle and Soul" and Chris Cornell in the "Radar Love"-lifted "Cactus Music" (a tune with the band's name in the title that brags about — this is so cute — how hard the band rocks, the way bands did before Spinal Tap dropped the nuke). B+

— Eric W. Saeger


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