Family Cactus: Come Howling (Sony)

 |   |  <1 min read

Family Cactus: In Transit
Family Cactus: Come Howling (Sony)

Given that members of this seven piece have connections with excellent New Zealand bands such as the Brunettes, the Nudie Suits, Grand Prix, Good Laika and others, you'd think this album would have made quite a splash.

You'd also think that some competing egos would have been apparent, but this coherent and quietly compelling album works through understatement as much the dramatic (where they recall a more self-effacing Arcade Fire). 

Nowhere is that understatment more apparent and effective than on the eerie and languid In Transit where the lyrics towards the end don't say much more than "lost in transit" over and over in a world weary way. It is entrancing, and you feel quite limp and lost yourself afterwards.

In other places the energy levels are kicked up (the thunderous Barbed Tongue where the guitars are unleashed and the vocals distorted, the sky-scaling No Magic), but mostly this is driven by rapid and dense acoustic guitars on songs which sometimes have a trancelike quality. Mainman songwriter Adam Ladley keeps a tight grip on the reins.

Dramatic, crafted, seductive or simply lapel-grabbing . . .
Make the effort for this one, you won't be disappointed.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Willard Grant Conspiracy: Bear Witness (CD/DVD, Glitterhouse/Yellow Eye)

Willard Grant Conspiracy: Bear Witness (CD/DVD, Glitterhouse/Yellow Eye)

Those sensible few who caught WGC mainman Robert Fisher when he toured solo last year will need no further urging towards this impressive set which finds him with the "band" of various... > Read more

Chris Prowse: Trouble on the Waterfront (Proco)

Chris Prowse: Trouble on the Waterfront (Proco)

The 1951 waterfront strike in Auckland (which lasted for five months but had repercussions for years, even decades, after) was one of the most significant flashpoints and dividing lines in New... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER JEFFREY PAPAROA HOLMAN on David Bowie and mining identity

GUEST WRITER JEFFREY PAPAROA HOLMAN on David Bowie and mining identity

In the tidal wave of emotion that has swept the world since David Bowie’s death was announced, I have found my myself in a curious position: saluting a great artist who I never really got... > Read more

OTTMAR LIEBERT INTERVIEWED (2006): A new age of flamenco

OTTMAR LIEBERT INTERVIEWED (2006): A new age of flamenco

Very few musicians can claim to have created a genre, but with his 1990 album Nouveau Flamenco, guitarist Ottmar Liebert did exactly that. Liebert’s hybrid style -- which existed... > Read more