To make their music really stand out, a band needs a quality that separates it from their contemporaries. Attleboro, MA Cactus Attack have gained a sought out reputation in New England’s folk music scene by playing raucous acoustic based rock & roll that has plenty of energy and vigor. The band’s whiskey soaked style is evident in their latest release Happy Hunting. It’s a swampy blend of bluegrass rhythms, electric guitar chords and heart on the sleeve lyrics that goes straight for the soul. These rabble rousers know how to unleash musical fury with a hard-hitting album that never lets up.
Guitarists Ryan Jackson and Taylor Brennan alternate on vocals while Derek Pearson adds to the shredding on banjo. Rounding the lineup out are Mike Walker with his homemade standup bass and Chris Hickman on drums providing the anchor for a blistering sound. What’s striking about Happy Hunting is how tight everything sounds when all the instruments are joining in on the fray. The emphasis exhibited is equivalent to thunder and lightning. Cactus Attack hit the senses like a ton a bricks while leaving the listener with a smile.
The chorus in “The Ticket” lights a spark of riffs and electricity that goes unrivaled. It gets more and more intense as the track goes along. “Penitentiary” is an amplified prison ballad that’s both somber and dark. There’s a gloomy tone throughout the song that fits the vibe while Brennan unleashes a couple guitar solos to scorch things up a bit. For the ones who like to dance, “Family Name” is fast-paced and guaranteed to get people jumping up and shaking around.
Cactus Attack got a few shows going on in the Rhode Island area in December. On the 16th they’ll be performing with fellow Massachusetts acts Diablogato and Tigerman WOAH and bluesy upstarts The Low Cards at Firehouse 13 in Providence. On the 30th they’ll be coming through The Met in Pawtucket with rock & roll master blasters The Silks on the 30 to ring in the night before New Year’s Eve. Whether you’re heading to both shows or just one of them, grab a copy of Happy Hunting. It’s one of the best albums to come out of New England in 2016 so give it a listen and find out why.