The first of the “asterisk” artists to make the countdown, Cactus World News may also prove to be the least well known. Despite being the first Mother Records, and getting U2’s seal of approval, the band’s success never really came. But it should have! The most obscure of the asterisk artist, CWN released a stellar debut project that yielded a moderate hit with “The Bridge” and a sound that was right in the wheelhouse of what was happening in music at the time. Influences that included The Clash, Ramones, U2 the band also had an energy that equaled The Alarm, Echo and the Bunnymen and Big Country. Christian music listeners might want to use Undercover, 441 and early 77’s as a musical comparison, though their sound was completely their own. The first single and biggest hit, The Bridge, was produced by Bono and helped spur enough interest to be placed on a tour with the Cult. Band members, especially band leader and guitarist, Frank Kearns, shared a longtime friendship with U2 and would often serve as road and equipment support for the then fledgling band. Though immediately likeable and a long time favorite, my favorite cut wasn’t the hit single, but rather the opening track, Worlds Apart. The high energy and passion of the song reveals a heart wrenching longing for acceptance and closeness. Another stand out follows with “In a Whirlpool.” Again, the high energy delivers and impassioned plea for belonging. “The Promise” contains the most direct allusions to a biblical understanding and remains another personal favorite from the album. More questioning than evangelical the band longs for answers as they examine the world around them and discover that they are no less guilty than anyone else. This song is most “U2ish” on the album. Despite the theme of loneliness that weaves itself throughout the project, the album does not feel depressing or dark. For those desiring or demanding a more obvious or clearly evangelical message this album should be avoided. For those who embraced bands like The Waterboys, U2, The Alarm and The Call, this should prove a very satisfying, albeit very obscure, experience.
Contributor David Lowman – https://legacyccmsgreatestalbums.wordpress.com/
1 – Worlds Apart – 3:36
2 – In A Whirlpool – 3:36
3 – The Promise – 5:03
4 – The Bridge – 4:15
5 – State Of Emergency – 7:10
6 – Years Later – 4:10
7 – Church Of The Cold – 3:49
8 – Pilots Of Beka – 6:04
9 – Jigsaw Street – 3:19
10 – Maybe This Time – 7:00
Artwork By – Creative Department Ltd, The, Dublin, Ireland.
Artwork By [Sleeve Design] – Steve Averill
Bass – Fergal MacAindris
Drums, Percussion – Wayne Sheehy
Electric Guitar, Guitar [Spanish] – Frank Kearns
Engineer [Assistant, Dublin] – Mary Kettle
Engineer [Dublin] – Mark Freegard
Engineer [Holland] – Thomas Stiehler
Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Eoin McEvoy
Photography [Black And White Interiors] – Conor Horgan
Photography [Exterior] – Brian Griffin
Producer – Chris Kimsey
Written-By, Performer – Cactus World News
Phonographic Copyright (p) – MCA Records, Inc.
Manufactured By – MCA Records, Inc.
Distributed By – MCA Records, Inc.