With a three man effort and enough on stage antics to blind God himself, Cactus's self proclaimed style of tropical punk is taking Nashville and beyond by storm.
Currently touring the East Coast of the US and Canada, the boys are heading to Europe next, with plans to conquer.
This isn't the Cactus's first rodeo. All three members have come from nationally touring acts. and have each spent years self promoting.
Lead singer Asher Rogers rips into his guitar as if it had an affair on him. Formerly of the band The Smartest Monkeys, Asher's scarecrow jinking and jerking make you wonder if he's more influenced by the world of Jim Henson than the world of music.
Bassist Sam Rogers is Asher's brother and former lead "throat" of Nashville cult metal riot "They Said We Were Ghosts". Sam is the calmest of the lot, watching the boys with beaded eyes and a southern sneer.
Last but not least (sitting center stage we might add), is Drummer Jru Frasier, formerly of the Korean metal band Unroot, has been known to play his drums so hard they've had to be held together by audience members.
With influences ranging from XTC and The Pixies to Converge, Cactus's offer an intense and lyrically smart brand of music that can apply to the musically inclined as well as the musically blind.
“This band is very tight indeed. They could reach a very broad audience. They are a better band than most in this genre. I like the bright colors imaging, and I love the [genre] name tropical punk” - Kevin Kookegey, Manager of Mute Math on Teleprompt/Warner Bros.
“I think it’s amazing. I love these guys. Everyone is looking for the next big thing to come out of Nashville and this could be it” – Dave Stuenebrink, Showdown Management – Paramore on Atlantic
“Whoever is gonna sign these guys, better hurry up and do it” – Mike Grimes owner Grimeys Records, Nashville, TN
"The best band I have seen in 10 years!" - Greig Nori, Producer (Sum41, Broken Social Scene).
"Amazing. Reminds me of the first time I heard At the drive-in" - Justin Erdman Universal Music Canada
“Holy #$%^! Who are these guys?. I love the song Daddy!” – Roger Nichols, producer
“I am totally jealous that this drummer gets to play these ferocious songs! Amazing” – James Childress – Love Drug on The Militia Group
“I can’t wait to tour with this band” – Kenny from Starting Line on Virgin Records
Asher Rogers - Guitar
Sam Rogers - Bass
Jru Frasier - Drums
tropical terror EP. Released on Beat Crazy 7/2008
Currently on the air in Toronto Canada CFMU in rotation also plays on other college radio WSMU. Front page of Punknews.org and streaming on Insomnia Radio UK daily dose.
Tropical Terror review
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Earlier this year, Nashville trio Cactus's released a six song CD entitled Tropical Terror. Cactus's...Earlier this year, Nashville trio Cactus's released a six song CD entitled Tropical Terror. Cactus's have a sound that refuses to be pinned down to just one genre. Elements of post hardcore, grunge, and math rock all combine to create a sound that can best be described as Fugazi on speed. Lyrically, Tropical Terror goes from the serious to the bizarre without missing a beat. On most songs, it is hard to tell whether the band is trying to be sincere or completely ironic. All this adds up to one of the most unique sounds to come out of Nashville in some time.
The “terror” begins with the song “Where Is My Skeleton.” Shrieking vocals pour out of the speakers as the band charges through this two minute opener. Guitarist/vocalist Asher Rogers makes a number of interesting chord changes and covers enough ground to fool you into thinking there are actually two guitarists in the band. The mid tempo number “Purple Coyote” stands out as one of the best songs on the album. Drummer Jru Frazier and bassist Sam Rogers fall into a nice groove as Asher plays his own choppy guitar line. Cactus's save the most brutal song, “Tiny Teeth,” for last. The song moves quickly in and out of different parts, featuring ripping guitar lines and howling vocals from multiple band members.
Cactus's bring a clever mix of punk and post hardcore to the table. The band hints at the early work of Cave In while also paying homage to Nirvana's Bleach. With just one song clocking in at over the three minute mark, this six song album is a fast paced, distorted assault on the ears, but it's a welcomed one. Often times unrelenting, but also full of melody and structure, Tropical Terror is an album that is worth a listen. Make sure you catch them at the end on November 6th with Unwed Sailor. - Jason Goucher
Published on Tue, 4 Nov 2008 11:51:00
Cactus's - Indie Artist of the Year
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Grimey aggo-rock finished its bow and defeat to whiney Emo years ago. Its been reincarnated in the o...Grimey aggo-rock finished its bow and defeat to whiney Emo years ago. Its been reincarnated in the oddest of forms, Cactus in Nashville, TN. To be completely accurate, Cactus's. The intentionally grammarless formation has been together
for only a short amount of time at the time of this review, and their Demo can easily draw comparisons to Bear vs. Shark.
Very much reliant upon all out Punk, songs like Where Is My Skeleton contrasts so well against Tiny Teeth which have a more Metal backbone. All songs regardless of genre, have terrifically progressive harmonics. Purple Coyote is one of those tracks that melts in a poppy sensationalism to their sound. Though lead and backing vocals are as Screamo as they come, the last thing anyone should do is place these guys in that genre of ceilings. The song titled Daddy has the characteristics of Swedish legends Blindside. Nicely timed melody changes are evident and throughout any of Cactus's writing.
Though, they're smack in the middle of Country music USA, and their chances of building a strong fanbase locally are slim-to-none, the songwriting abilities and overall natural understanding of aggressive rock has them as my Independent artist of the year. These guys are permanently on my Independent artists on the rise radar.
by Brian Rutherford
Tropical Terror 3 out of 5 stars
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By their very nature, cliches are too common and over-played, so it's a real bummer when a cliche fe...By their very nature, cliches are too common and over-played, so it's a real bummer when a cliche fells your band. Just act Cactus's. The apostrophe-laden punk act's Tropical Terror EP is prey to one of the lamest of all bar-band chestnuts: You can't record punk rock.
Sure, a bazillion or so bands in the past three decades proved that stock phrase to be little more than a knock-kneed excuse for a bad record. With Tropical Terror, though, that's pretty much the only logical explanation for why Cactus's don't do better on disc. The energy is there -- lots and lots of energy. The soul is there, as Asher Rogers howls as if he's raised listening solely to Iggy Pop and The Murder City Devils. The songs are there, too, at least somewhere on there, as the band trots through songs with enough bang to turn heads. Despite all that, Tropical Terror just isn't as amazing to listen to as it should be.
Blame a lot of that on the band's high-energy enthusiasm. The violent, crashing rhythms, blazing guitars and Asher's desperate lead vocals make no bones about it: Cactus's is the sort of band that could beat up your dad, make your mom cry and give your little sister nightmares -- all without stopping in the middle of a song. That's usually enough to carry any old bar act through a set, but Cactus's aren't any old bar act, nor is that a wise tact for any band, bar band or not, to take in the studio.
We're left with an overcrowded mix that tries to capture all the in-the-red energy of a live mix-down. It captures the power, but that's about it. Guitars are reduced to little more than sonic sludge, while Sam Rogers' bass gets buried under a sea of noise and distortion. True, it proves Cactus's can kick your teeth in, but shouldn't that be left up to the live set? "Where's My Skeleton" is four-on-the-floor excitement, which is fun -- for about half the song's length. After that, it's just another trash-punk act proving how loud it can get. The rest of the EP is more of the same: "Purple Coyote" starts with a sizzling riff, but throws too much gasoline on the fire, getting too loud for its cut-rate production to keep up, dropping into a noisy, ill-formed mess. "Tiny Teeth" and "Daddy" are all live-sound power, with instruments bleeding together into a sonic mush that leaves the best work of Cactus's in the gutter.
There's a huge difference between raw production and bad production, and Tropical Terror careens to a flaming burn in the realm of the latter. That's a shame, too, as the trio's songs deserve better. Maybe it really is hard to make a good punk record after all.
- Matt Schild
Why Cactus's Shred
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If i had the chance to go see any band in the world it would be Cactus's. And Ive already seen them ...If i had the chance to go see any band in the world it would be Cactus's. And Ive already seen them 3 times. They're THAT good. Go catch a show and see what i mean.
Lead singer and all around axe molester Asher Rogers rips at his guitar as if it had had an affair on him. Drummer Jru Frazier is a drunken psychotic, rambling man of epic proportions. Called by Greig Nori, producer of Sum41 "the best drummer I have ever seen play". Case in point: the last show I caught, his drum set was falling apart and only held together by two audience members while he beat the living tar out of it for six songs straight. And then there's the CACTUS'S bassist Samuel Rogers - the only one of the group who remains calm enough to watch the gigs rise and burn in an uproar of glorious sound. Each time your eyes somehow drift from Asher's manic, scarecrow jinking and jerking, you'll see the calm intelligence in Samuel's eyes, as if subconsiously directing the rest of the band as puppets.
If you dont' sing along and cry to the song "Daddy" you were probably born without a soul. And be sure to wait for Asher to rip his fingers across the strings on "Queen Bee". When he hits the part I'm thinking of, you'll know, as you'll be witness to a man spitting the plague across his very instrument. I don't think i need to tell you that I mean that in a good way. Best band ever? You decide.
Jru Frasier...is a Swiss watch on PCP destined to leave drum heads concussed by the end of the first bar.
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I’ve got one question: who pissed off the kids in Nashville? Chock full of the same anti-pop abstrac...I’ve got one question: who pissed off the kids in Nashville? Chock full of the same anti-pop abstractness and challenges that set apart albums like Mission of Burma’s Versus, Cactus’s Tropical Terror EP asks critical questions like “where is my skeleton?”, sarcastically obsesses over the father-son relationship, and makes pleas to that all consuming Queen Bee. The fact that this is a live setting recording only makes Jru Frasier’s spastic onslaught of hyperdrive drumming sound more impressive; this guy is a Swiss watch on PCP destined to leave drum heads concussed by the end of the first bar. Asher Rogers’ gravelly shouts are delivered straight from the gut and land like a prizefighter’s punch to the kidneys while he distracts with unpredictable rope-a-dope guitar licks. Some how Sam Rogers manages to challenge for the lead in a race to the finish line and drop a back line that’s focused on task every time.
From the opening flurry of “Where Is My Skeleton” straight through to the steam roller of “Tiny Teeth”, Cactus’s brand of self-anointed Tropical Punk tears a line straight through all in its path. As much punishment as this album offers I’m sure sadistic kids will come back for more. While Tropical Terror is good for repeat listens straight through, “Daddy” and headspinner “Queen Bee” are most certainly the best offerings. This is certainly one worth checking out and with a pay what you please offer, or the ability to tell five friends and pick it up for free from their myspace site you can’t argue with the price.
I guess if I was surrounded by country music all the time I’d be pretty pissed off too but it shows again that Nashville still has gutters full of great music to export.
Review by Myles LaCavera
Interview with Asher from Cactus's
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Monday, July 28, 2008 Interview with Asher Rogers Category: Music I think people have m... Monday, July 28, 2008
Interview with Asher Rogers
I think people have mistaken craft for art and there are very few artists left.
Q: What is your objective artistically as a band?
A: The objective artistically as a band is to do absolutely everything we want to do without outside influence. Everything we do is designed to be on the outside of what everyone else does, everything from song structure to recording techniques. I want no one to be able to tell when our music was made or where we're from. I want to be an alien.
Q: How would you describe the music of Cactus's? Name a few adjectives that you believe describe the music, however abstract.
A: Obviously we describe the music as tropical thrash rock but I would hope people describe it as high energy, bizarre, raw rock. Each song we want you to connect it with a color and an image in your mind. When I listen to artists, I see color and vibrant moods are cast, I want our music to do the same. Halloween, tropical storms, kiwi diamonds, talking animals, all the wonderful things that get me excited.
Q: What sort of things inspire your lyrics? There are lots of references to animals in the lyrics on Tropical Terror. Describe what that imagery means to you.
A: As far as lyrics go, if your only job is to write and you can't come up with something creative and new, you're not an artist, quit. I could talk about why rhyming fly with die and cry and why is only for imbeciles but you already know that.
I wrote these lyrics [Tropical Terror] with meaning behind them, but awareness of how boring words are. The lyrics were written with understanding that how I feel about something today is not what I'll feel in 3 years so basically I've made multiple meanings with an evolving and interchanging motivation for each song. I try to avoid plain and simple terms like love except when absolutely necessary. Animals are far more interesting and colorful than singing about a broken heart or something so instantly outdated. Animals don't change the way our fashion, technology and mindsets do. For instance the song "purple coyote" is about my problem with anxiety. I've assigned anxiety to a coyote and never use the term "anxiety" in the song, there's no need for it, to spell out the real meaning of a song is something a lawyer would do if he was writing a song. Not an artist.
Interview with Asher Rogers,
conducted by TWH
With a name like Cactus's you need a sound that hurts.
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With a name like Cactus's you need a sound that hurts. This Nashville trio are all bout being loud a...With a name like Cactus's you need a sound that hurts. This Nashville trio are all bout being loud and obnoxious. That's what happens if you live in a town that is famous for over sweet country fare.
Their Tropical Terror EP is a demand for attention. They have songs that follow the path that was cut through the musical jungle by Soundgarden, the Pixies and the Stooges. Heady headbanging stuff, that will ruin the lawn when played during a BBQ.
Set-25 Minutes in length
original songs. fast and catchy.
1) Where is My Skeleton
3) Queen Bee
4) Perverted Shark
5) Purple Coyote
6) Tiny Teeth
7) Kamikaze Kangaroo
There are no upcoming dates at this time.