Sunday, March 28, 2021

Classic Rock Comes Alive With New Releases From Cactus, Sweet and Badfinger

American hard rock band, Cactus have returned with their first album of new material in five years and only their third since re-forming in 2006. The band is still led by legendary drummer and original member Carmine Appice, along with long-time members Jimmy Kunes (vocals), Randy Pratt (harmonica) and newcomers Paul Warren (guitar) and James Caputo (bass). Their new twelve-track release is titled "Tightrope" and comes out rocking with youthful energy and a chip on its shoulder, featuring some stellar guitar work matched by Pratt's sharp harmonica skills. They turn their cover of "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" into a gritty, back-alleys rock anthem, while "Poison In Paradise" is just dripping in blues and emotion. Carmine's drumming is still one of the best in the game, as displayed on the rhythm-fueled "Third Time Gone" and the arena rocker "Shake That Thing," which is built for a live concert setting. Any doubts that Cactus can no long hang with the younger bands of today are diminished by the heavy hitting "Elevation" and "Headed For A Fall." To find out more about Cactus and their latest release "Tightrope," please visit cleorecs.com.

Legendary British rock band, Sweet are unveiling a new album titled "Isolation Boulevard," which is a reworking of many of their classic songs. The album was recorded during the lockdown of 2020 and includes the band's first new music in six years. They start out with a new version of one of their biggest hits "Fox On The Run," which still sounds great and erupts with hard rock passion. The harmonies are spot on for "Still Got The Rock" and "Action" is a burst of energy that rivals the original. Even though "Hell Raiser" was not a huge hit in the U.S., it is an iconic piece to Sweet's legacy and is a sonic blast of good-rocking fun. The band's new song "Set Me Free" has a harder edge than some of their earlier hits, but still carries the band's undeniable seventies sound. Sweet finish up their new album with a pair of classics, including "New York Groove," which also contains lines from Alicia Keys' song "New York," along with their most well-known party-starter "Ballroom Blitz." To find out more about Sweet and their latest release "Isolation Boulevard," please visit thesweet.com.

Another new album that was giving us that feeling nostalgic is "No Matter What, Revisiting The Hits" by the British rock band, Badfinger. The album features ten of their hits featuring guests from Jethro Tull, Vanilla Fudge and many others to help give the songs an extra level of attention. Keyboard master Rick Wakeman supports Joey Molland on Badfinger's biggest hit "Come And Get It," while Ian Anderson, Terry Reid and the Manchester String Orchestra give "Day After Day" a special touch of early seventies British rock nostalgia. Rick Springfield adds his expertise to one of Badfinger's final hits "Love Is Gonna Last" and Matthew Sweet lays down a masterful modern alternative pop groove to "Baby Blue." The set closes with the beautiful acoustics supplied by Albert Lee on the ballad "Sweet Tuesday Morning" and the monster hit "Without You" supported by the great Todd Rundgren. To find out more about the latest release from Badfinger, please visit cleorecs.com.

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