Sound — 10
McCarty's guitar sounds shrill, slowly, fast, furios and much more, he's a great player with a lot of feeling; his solos are absolutely amazing. And there are a lot of them. Something that impresses you is the huge use of stereo and effects in the guitar solos. He also combines electric clean/distorted with an acoustic guitar. The sound is loud and incendiary, pure boogie rock (sometimes getting harder), it catches you and doesn't let you go. Also there are slow songs, like Song for Aries (instrumental, very nice). They sounded very original and special in the early '70s, they were a mix of rock n' roll bands (like rolling stones) and heavier like Deep purple or led zeppelin (in an article they were described as the "american Led Zeppelin"). Song structures are more or less complex, not too much, just rock, but not as easy as AC/DC. Also the basslines are very original and much more difficult.
Lyrics — 10
The singer is good and sounds good with the music. I think he sings roughily, not too much, and his voice has a special feeling. And these things make Cactus a big band. He hasn't got a big vocal range, middle tone, but better this way. He rapports well with the music. The chorus are more clean than the lead voice, and soft. Also the singer plays the harmonica in some songs with a lot of feeling (like Big Mama Boogie pts 1-2, there are quite songs with harmonica) and it's a big achievement. It gives a special air to the songs. A good choice.
Overall Impression — 10
Well, I think it's an important album, one of the most important albums of the '70s, and you should hear it before die, like the other from cactus (Cactus and Restrictions) with the original line-up. They are authentic treasures of music. The bests songs of the album are Big Mama Boogie Pts 1-2 (slow the first part, heavy solo the second), Songs from Aries (slow instrumental ballad, really nice the solo) and Rock N' Roll Children (pure rock 'n' roll). But the other ones are really good, I only showed wich I like. I really don't know why they are still unknown, they are good musicians and good songs. Maybe one of the best unknown bands ever.