Cactus World News wastes no time in making a first impression on its debut album Urban Beaches. The opening track "Worlds Apart" explodes from the speakers with screeching, reverberating guitars, tumbling drums, and fervent vocals. The anthemic chorus and breathtaking energy of "Worlds Apart" will remind listeners of U2's "I Will Follow" in its feel and execution. However, despite similarities to the music of fellow Irish band U2, Urban Beaches is a smart, hypnotically melodic album bristling with youthful exuberance and sparkling musicianship. The impassioned singing of Eoin McEvoy on "Worlds Apart," "In a Whirlpool," "The Promise," and "The Bridge" is contagious; after hearing him bellow "Worlds apart, worlds apart/Closer than I've ever been/To you" a few times, listeners will find themselves mouthing the words or perhaps singing it in the shower. Frank Kearns' driving, electrifying riffs magnify the urgency in McEvoy's voice; nearly every track has thrilling, dramatic guitar playing. Urban Beaches should've been a hit in the U.S.; instead, it became a buried treasure in the cutout bins.
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AllMusic Review by Michael Sutton