Purple Pyramid, 2021


REVIEW BY: Mark Kadzielawa


Cactus was great 1970s rock band, often labeled the American answer to Led Zeppelin. While musically they were capable of being just as good, there were other factors that prevented the band from being as successful. They broke up in 1972. In 2006, Cactus became active again, with Jimmy Kunes taking replacing the deceased Rusty Day on vocals. In the recent years, a new lineup was introduced, reducing the original members only to drummer Carmine Appice. It seemed like more and of original Cactus was gone, making this album a huge surprise. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Tightrope is definitely the best Cactus album since their reformation. It has all elements of Cactus and more.

The new and revamped Cactus is hitting on all cylinders, and the results are triumphant. Tightrope is a great record, full of energy, cool rock grooves, and some seriously dirty blues. Everything about this album is fresh. In many ways, Cactus never sounded better.

The title cut that opens the record is a right-in-your-face rocker. It really just sets the mood for the album. I absolutely love the cover of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” This song was covered many other times, but Cactus gives it wings. It never sounded better, or rockier.  “All Shook Up” is probably the best song on the album, a heavy rocker with a very catchy melody. There is not a bad song on this record. Tightrope comes across very focused and solid.

Tightrope is another great record by a seasoned band. Many such bands still maintain their creativity and release great records. What’s unfortunate is that classic rock radio will not touch the new material. They will still play songs recorded 40 years ago and ignore anything new. It is very unfortunate practice because it often discourages bands from writing and recording new songs. Tightrope is an essential rock release of 2021!

Rating: A

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