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

Doug Cox: Without Words (Black Hen)

Doug Cox: Without Words (Black Hen)

Dobro player Doug Cox from Canada appeared here previously with his lovely album Slide to Freedom where he worked with Indian slide guitarist Salil Bhatt. That album alone would recommend this... > Read more

Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells, The 2009 Stereo Mixes (Universal)

Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells, The 2009 Stereo Mixes (Universal)

For some reason I largely missed the Tubular Bells phenomenon back in '73 when the album was orginally released and launched the careers of 19 year old multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

FRANK: THE VOICE by JAMES KAPLAN

FRANK: THE VOICE by JAMES KAPLAN

When he died, Time ran an eight-page tribute and put him on the cover with a simple tag-line: “Francis Albert Sinatra 1915 – 1998”. They might have added “The... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Elvis Presley; Original Album Classics

THE BARGAIN BUY: Elvis Presley; Original Album Classics

The Elvis collections in this series hits a peak with these five discs, these capture Elvis live and the set starts with the famous '68 Comeback television special. It reinvigorated his career and... > Read more