Header

CARDIACS

RIO/Avant-Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cardiacs picture
Cardiacs biography
Complex, eccentric, defiantly different - Cardiacs are a unique, influential and sometimes overlooked force within the history of rock. Their status as a prog rock band is disputed by some, including frontman and composer Tim Smith himself, who notably prefers the term "psychedelic" or simply "pop".

Regardless, they are embraced by much of the prog rock community, as well as fans of punk, alternative, indie and pretty much every other permutation of rock music.

Their sound has gradually evolved over the decades from the raw DIY punk sound of their early cassette albums to the sumptuous grandeur and off-kilter pop of their most recent efforts, but all of it is shot through with Tim Smith's unique use of unusual chord progressions, Zappa-esque complexity, psychedelic overtones, catchy melodies and odd, often impenetrable lyrics.

Formed in 1977 (originally under the name of Cardiac Arrest), the band went through several line-ups, with Tim Smith and his brother Jim as the only constant members, before settling on the so-called "classic" line-up in 1984. This consisted of Tim Smith (guitar and lead vocals, primarily), Jim Smith (bass, vocals), William D. Drake (keyboards, vocals), Sarah Smith (saxophone, vocals), Tim Quy (percussion) and Dominic Luckman (drums).

This line-up was responsible for some of Cardiacs' most widely known albums including "A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window" and "On Land and in the Sea", as well as an eccentric, theatrical quality to their live performances including shabby uniforms, make-up, confetti and strange onstage banter.

After several departures (including Sarah Smith and William D. Drake) a pared-down quartet of Tim Smith, Jim Smith, Dominic Luckman and new second guitarist Jon Poole was established. William D. Drake was deemed irreplaceable and all future Cardiacs concerts featured the band playing to pre-recorded keyboard parts rather than a live musician, which took considerable skill, given the complex nature of much of the material.

This formula remained more or less constant from "Heaven Born and Ever Bright" up until the present, though Dominic Luckman and Jon Poole left at different points to be replaced by Bob Leith and Kavus Torabi respectively. For many the highlight of this period is the double album "Sing to God".

In 2008, Tim Smith suffered a major stroke, which has left him unable to record and perform music and plans for the long-awaited and imm...
read more

Cardiacs official website

CARDIACS MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

CARDIACS forum topics / tours, shows & news


CARDIACS forum topics Create a topic now
CARDIACS tours, shows & news Post an entries now

CARDIACS Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all CARDIACS videos (6) | Search and add more videos to CARDIACS

Buy CARDIACS Music


GunsGuns
Import
Alph
Audio CD$26.99
$50.00 (used)
Little Man & A House & The Whole WLittle Man & A House & The Whole W
Import
Under license from The Alphabet Business by Torso 1995
Audio CD$26.99
$108.34 (used)
All That Glitters Is A Mares NestAll That Glitters Is A Mares Nest
Audio CD$26.99
$108.34 (used)
Cardiacs LiveCardiacs Live
Alph
Audio CD$26.99
Sing to God Parts 1 & 2Sing to God Parts 1 & 2
Import
Alph
Audio CD$49.99
$178.94 (used)
Songs for Ships and IronsSongs for Ships and Irons
Audio CD$26.99
$26.99 (used)
Rude BootlegRude Bootleg
Audio CD$61.86
$60.88 (used)
SamplerSampler
Import
Alph 1997
Audio CD$84.20
$83.02 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
OCEANSIZE cd One Day All This Could Be Yours - indie / prog rock / Cardiacs USD $1.55 [1 bids]
3h 43m
WILLIAM D DRAKE Rising Of The Lights UK 12tk promo CD + press release Cardiacs USD $9.38 [0 bids]
8h 35m
Cardiacs - Rude Bootleg - ALPH CD 005 New USD $39.97 Buy It Now 8h 43m
The Seaside [CD] by Cardiacs (CD, May-1995, Alphabet) NEW USD $35.91 Buy It Now 9h 38m
---------------- Cardiacs - Archive Cardiacs - CD ALPH CD000------------------ USD $36.91 Buy It Now 11h 29m
Cardiacs "Sing To God" OOP 2 cd LIMITED EDITION SEALED & RARE IMPORT 22 tracks USD $184.99 Buy It Now 13h 31m
THE DOWLING POOLE - Bleak Strategies Rare 3-track CD Wildhearts / Cardiacs USD $1.88 [2 bids]
2 days
Cardiacs- Heaven Born And Ever Bright. Prog, Tim Smith, Punk, 1st press! USD $54.90 Buy It Now 2 days
Mr & Mrs Smith And Mr Drake- S/T. Prog, Tim Smith, Cardiacs, sealed! USD $59.90 Buy It Now 2 days
William D. Drake- Yew's Paw. Prog, psych, Cardiacs, Tim Smith, MINT! USD $29.90 Buy It Now 2 days
William D. Drake : The Rising Of The Lights LP (2011), Cardiacs, Sea Nymphs USD $11.73 [0 bids]
2 days
William D. Drake CD Yews Paw / Cardiacs / Sea Nymphs USD $7.82 [0 bids]
2 days
CARDIACS Live LP 11 Track UK Alphabet Business Concern 1988 USD $65.67 Buy It Now 2 days
THE CARDIACS -LIVE LP USD $39.09 [0 bids]
3 days
THE TRUDY - LOST SUMMER OF LOVE - PROMO CD CARDIACS USD $10.93 Buy It Now 3 days
Cardiacs ?- Sing To God - Part One 1995 CD NM/VG+ A B C ALPH CD 023 USD $30.00 Buy It Now 5 days
OCEANSIZE - CD Heaven Alive - Alt indie / prog rock / Cardiacs USD $1.55 [0 bids]
6 days
EX !! Cardiacs/Big Ship/1987 LP Mini Album USD $62.53 Buy It Now 7 days
Cardiacs ?- Is This The Life RARE ORIG House Of Dolls MAGAZINE + 7" NEAR MINT USD $15.62 Buy It Now 8 days
Cardiacs ?- Live 1995 CD NM/EX ALPH CD010 USD $29.75 Buy It Now 9 days
Cardiacs ?- Songs For Ships And Irons 1995 CD NM/NM ALPH CD014 USD $29.75 Buy It Now 9 days
THE ORGAN FANZINE ISSUE 12 - CARDIACS/THE JANITORS/GONG/STONE COLD/MAYHEM USD $23.44 Buy It Now 9 days
THE ORGAN FANZINE ISSUE 47 - CARDIACS/THE DANDY WARHOLS/CORROSION OF CONFORMITY USD $14.06 Buy It Now 9 days
HOUSE OF DOLLS #2 sampler EP 7" Cardiacs/Orange Cartest/In Two A Circle ex 1988 USD $6.24 Buy It Now 9 days
LP DOWLING POOLE (ex WILDHEARTS, CARDIACS) BLEAK STRATEGIES, Psych / Pop gem! USD $15.56 Buy It Now 10 days
Cardiacs Rude Bootleg lp vinyl USD $119.99 Buy It Now 12 days
cardiacs press cutting rare! tim smith the cardiacs USD $44.99 Buy It Now 12 days
Kinks tribute Shangri La DUTCH LP Reegs Cardiacs Droogs Fleshtones Wolfhounds USD $24.99 Buy It Now 14 days
Cardiacs-1996 magazine advert USD $7.80 Buy It Now 14 days
Cardiacs - "Is This The Life" 7" (1988) EX / "I'm Eating In Bed" / ALPH 008SP USD $20.31 Buy It Now 17 days
*** RARE *** WILLIAM D DRAKE - YEWS PAW - CDR PROMO ALBUM CARDIACS - SEA NYMPHS USD $26.57 Buy It Now 18 days
Cardiacs The Nighttracks Radio 1 Session UK 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) USD $53.08 Buy It Now 18 days
Cardiacs Sing To God 2lp new vinyl one copy in stock! USD $99.99 Buy It Now 19 days
MARQUEE HANDBILL/GIGS - LISTINGS INC. CARDIACS/TIGERTAILZ/CHELSEA/DEL AMITRI USD $12.43 Buy It Now 19 days
MARQUEE HANDBILL/GIGS - LISTINGS INC. DIAMOND HEAD/IQ/CHELSEA/TRILOGY/CARDIACS USD $12.43 Buy It Now 19 days
Mr & Mrs Smith And Mr Drake ?s/t cd cardiacs USD $69.99 Buy It Now 21 days
Cardiacs - Bellyeye (CD) USD $35.95 Buy It Now 23 days
CARDIACS Live University Of London Rare Original Official 2004 UK Concert POSTER USD $23.44 Buy It Now 24 days
######## Cardiacs Live by Cardiacs (CD, May-1996, Alph) New CD ################# USD $39.95 Buy It Now 24 days
CARDIACS Is This The Life / I'm Eating In Bed ALPHABET 7" RARE 1988 UK ORIGINAL USD $31.26 Buy It Now 26 days
Free*Postage NEW Melvins Napalm Death Sugar Daddy Split #9 Cardiacs Cover Amrep USD $175.00 Buy It Now 26 days
CARDIACS Big Ship ALPHABET LP & INSERT VERY RARE UK 1986 ORIGINAL 1ST PRESSING USD $93.80 Buy It Now 28 days
CARDIACS Seaside Treats EP ALPHABET 12" VERY RARE UK 1985 ORIGINAL PRESSING USD $93.80 Buy It Now 29 days


More places to buy CARDIACS music online Buy CARDIACS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for CARDIACS DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

CARDIACS shows & tickets


CARDIACS has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

CARDIACS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CARDIACS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.06 | 12 ratings
The Obvious Identity
1980
4.20 | 10 ratings
Toy World
1981
4.11 | 59 ratings
The Seaside
1984
4.32 | 182 ratings
A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window
1988
4.24 | 73 ratings
On Land And In The Sea
1989
3.72 | 39 ratings
Heaven Born And Ever Bright
1992
4.31 | 200 ratings
Sing To God
1996
3.34 | 40 ratings
Guns
1999

CARDIACS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.47 | 8 ratings
Rude Bootleg
1986
4.67 | 9 ratings
Cardiacs Live
1988
4.52 | 15 ratings
All That Glitters Is A Mares Nest
1995
4.67 | 15 ratings
Garage Concerts Vol.I
2005
4.47 | 10 ratings
Garage Concerts Vol.II
2005

CARDIACS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Seaside Treats
1985
0.00 | 0 ratings
All That Glitters Is A Maresnest
1992

CARDIACS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.82 | 19 ratings
Archive Cardiacs 1977-1979
1989
4.33 | 56 ratings
Songs For Ships And Irons
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits
2001

CARDIACS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Seaside Treats
1984
4.33 | 3 ratings
Big Ship
1986
5.00 | 2 ratings
There's Too Many Irons In The Fire
1987
4.67 | 3 ratings
Is This The Life
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
Night Tracks
1988
5.00 | 2 ratings
Susannah's Still Alive
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
Baby Heart Dirt
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
Baby Heart Dirt (12 Version)
1989
4.50 | 4 ratings
Day Is Gone
1991
4.96 | 6 ratings
Manhoo
1995
4.13 | 5 ratings
Odd Even
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Bellyeye
1995
5.00 | 3 ratings
Signs
1999
4.09 | 7 ratings
Ditzy Scene
2007

CARDIACS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Guns by CARDIACS album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.34 | 40 ratings

BUY
Guns
Cardiacs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by suomynona

4 stars Like many other reviewers, Cardiacs, have only become known to me in the very recent past. Though this group is labelled under the RIO/Avant-Prog sub-genre, I can attest that this a very thin affiliation at best. Unlike the remainder of artists found in this genre, Cardiacs are highly accessible.

Guns is the final studio release from this gem of a band and seems to be a kind of change in direction from their previous efforts. Traditionally, the band exhibited an odd mix of high energy Prog instrumentation coupled with punk sounding vocals. Those elements still exist on Guns, but have been tempered somewhat. Loyal fans to the group would have likely perceived this effort as lacking because of this change in temperament; however, having the benefit of listening to their catalogue "out of order", one can objectively appreciate this album as being one of very high quality.

The songs generally have a musical coherence and are generally concise. That being said, there is little on this effort that would be viewed as straight forward and consequently Guns proves to give the listener something new and interesting to play with. In general, there are no weak tracks, though none are outright spectacular or memorable either. Taken as a whole, Guns proves to be very strong; the sum definitely being greater than its parts and ultimately a worthy purchase for most, if not all prog-heads.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Sing To God by CARDIACS album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.31 | 200 ratings

BUY
Sing To God
Cardiacs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by jeromach

5 stars A brilliantly amazing and amazingly brilliant album, I have no other words for it.

Genesis, Queen, Madness, The Stranglers, Captain Beefheart, Amon Düül II and who knows who else were mercilessly pushed into a nuclear powered blender, then cryogenically submerged in and shiveringly topped with cardiacssauce and this is what came out; a roller coaster of randomly changing time signatures frantically making love to pastoral sounding dissonants descending from heaven without any detour.

Sung to God and those who listen carefully can hear him sing along. I do, even through my own tears of utter joy and enlightenment.

If it'd wake the deceased from the dead I would not be surprised, but for sure it will melt any bad mood like an ice cube in a cup of hot boiling tea on a tropical beach on a volcanic Island in a heat wave.

And then these last two minutes of Dirty Boy, oh boy, it will make the most austere and rigorous atheist fall on his knees singing his heart out in repentance.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Sing To God by CARDIACS album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.31 | 200 ratings

BUY
Sing To God
Cardiacs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I must admit i'm a little intimidated doing this review, my first of a CARDIACS album. I really hadn't checked them out until last year mainly because of the descriptions I had read about their music being fast-paced with chipmunk backing vocals and that Punk flavour. None of those three descriptions appealed to me in the least. Well after their music finally became available again about a year ago I decided to give them a chance, and here I am back to report. Run! Do not look back! Haha, just kidding I highly recommend this double album with perhaps the most talked about album cover on the planet. It always gets comments from those who see it for the first time. I should mention that Steven Wilson thinks Tim Smith(CARDIACS leader) is a genius and stated that CARDIACS music is complex especially the way Smith interlocks passages together. Kavus Torabi from KNIFEWORLD who played in the CARDIACS claims "...Tim is a visionary man, every, every, EVERYTHING he wrote is extraordinary". So yeah there are a lot of CARDIAC fans out there who will convince you with passion that there is no greater band. This is melodic yet frantic music with clever lyrics to over simplify it. Tim Smith was a fan of Prog before he started this band in the late seventies. He was a big fan of HENRY COW and saw them in concert back in the seventies. So the music of CARDIACS is Progressive Rock, onlyTim has put his own stamp on it.

Up first on disc one is "Eden On The Air" which is mellow compared to what will follow but I really dig this tune. "Eat It Up Worms Hero" hits the ground running. This is intense and quirky just as you'd expect from this band. "Dog-Like Sparky" opens with piano before Tim comes in with vocals and zany music. You'll notice that some CARDIACS album covers feature dogs on them. I like when the female vocals come in. Great singer that Sarah Smith is. Such an amazing track. "Fiery Gun Hand" kicks into gear fairly quickly with drums leading the way. Vocals join in. Man this is crazy with the lyrics and intensity. Check out the guitar solo 3 1/2 minutes in! As Karvus says, CARDIACS rarely have guitar solos but when they do they are the best. One of CARDIACS greatest tracks for sure. "Insect Hoofs On Lassie" makes me laugh but then the humour in a lot of CARDIACS music does. Brilliant! "Fairy Mary Mag" is just a killer! Love the instrumental intro. Vocals arrive along with what sounds like mellotron. So good. It sounds like Zappa before 3 1/2 minutes. Themes are repeated in this one of my favs. "Bellyeye" is another catchy track with vocals and it's funny. "A Horse's Tail" is another uptempo song with some insanity, okay lots of insanity. "Manhoo" is pretty good but it hasn't actually won me over yet despite the many who love it. "Wireless" ends disc one and it's 8 1/2 minutes long. Man this sounds so amazing, it's just different in that you really need to hear it. Sarah sings on this one too along with Tim. The second part of this track called "Perl On The Sea" comes in before 5 minutes as we get the same melody but spoken words come in. This is really cool, especially when the spoken words stop and we get this atmosphere in the form of orchestration to end it.

Disc two begins with "Dirty Boy" without question my favourite track on here and I can't believe it goes on for almost 9 minutes. I can't see another CARDIAC's track doing for me what this song does. The guitar, the passionate vocals, the lyrics. I'm in awe of this track and will stop here before I just gush all over the place. "Billion" is a short(less than a minute) piece with reserved vocals and a cool soundscape. "Odd Even" is fantastic, very catchy. So many great tracks on this recording. "Bell Stinks" is a short and intense instrumental until it becomes dreamy then it kicks back in. "Bell Clinks" is the fastest paced tune on here. Even the vocals are going a million miles per hour. "Flap Off You Beak" opens with piano before the whole band joins in. It settles some when the vocals arrive. "Quiet As A Mouse" is short with samples of a conversation between two people then strange sounds when they stop. "Angelworm Angel" is fast-paced with vocals and it rivals "Bell Clinks" with it's break-neck speed. "Red Fire Coming Out From His Gills" is interesting with the tempo changes and lyrics. "No Gold" is also different with the softer vocals and more laid back sound. "Nurses Whispering Verses" is a top three song for me. It kicks in before a minute and then proceeds to kick some major ass. Man what a song! The final tune "Foundling" really intrigues me for some reason. It's partly the words and partly the more laid back vocals as the sound pulsates slowly when he's not singing.

Man what a recording this is. This was released back in 1996 after the band was well established. As double albums go there are some tracks I could do without yet the highs are addictive to say the least. Still I can't give this anything more than 4 solid stars, that may change down the road.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Sing To God by CARDIACS album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.31 | 200 ratings

BUY
Sing To God
Cardiacs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Slartibartfast
Prog Reviewer

5 stars More Songs About Dogs And God.

My gawd this is a bouncy album.

OK, so I first encountered them and brother Tim many years after this was originally released and frankly it bowled me over. I'm not entirely sure it would have worked for me when it came out in 1995, but then again I was a huge XTC fan and was going hungry for more of the same.

So, it would figure that when I took an interest in Cardiacs the catalog would be out of print. But yeah, I finally got an import of the re-release in 2013 and delighted in how it is wonderfully crazy.

So, this is pronk... I find it actually has very little to do with punk aside from a less than easy to listen to vocal style. There is no disdain for making complex music and interesting lyrics unlike the punk of the 1970's that allegedly destroyed progressive rock or art rock or whatever the hell you called it, if you were listening to it back then. Commercialitis was what brought the golden age of prog to an end.

I had refrained from exploring Cardiacs because my first encounter was a video from an older album that was fairly decently weird but didn't click with me. Finally ordered a copy of this and boy did it click. There was good new stuff out in 2013 but this one, which I got late in that year, really rivaled those.

I think what really makes this album for me is how they use synthesizers, really well. That if nothing else, that really divorces them from being punk.

My favorite songs to god are

Fiery Gun Hand "Sacred patience and a short silence And we will be sure as eggs is eggs that Jesus'll hold his fiery hand to the gun

And together we'll blow him to the ends of the earth To the ends of the earth"

and

Flap Off You Beak - "All nineteen birds flying fast up They are dead they are not alive Bad bird you flap off you beak High and mighty beady bird eye."

Also I had it in heavy rotation and was doing stair detailing when I head "perseverance understanding climb the stairs and cross the landing" in Horse's Tail.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window  by CARDIACS album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.32 | 182 ratings

BUY
A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window
Cardiacs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is where the CARDIACS hit their stride after honing and perfecting their sound from the punk roots of their earlier albums. Here they perfected the songwriting, added new instruments, crafted diverse intros and upped the progginess with strange time signatures in unexpected ways including waltzes and military marches. The progressive punk elements are mixed with an Oingo Boingo type circus music effect that firmly cements them in their own branch in the rock universe since absolutely nobody else sounds like they do.

This is one of those rare albums where I literally never tire of it. I can listen to it and then listen to it again and again and again. I am so intrigued by how well crafted this magnificent specimen of musical maestrohood springs forth everything I love about music including somewhat simple catchy melodies that spiral off into subtle prog tangents that don't interfere with the continuity of the simple parts while boldly interpolating themselves randomly into the flow of things yet never impeding it. The songs are more varied on this album compared with the previous ones and there are simpler tracks that are happy being closer to early guitar oriented new wave than full on schizoid hyperactivity that tracks like R.E.S. exhibit.

Despite being utterly shunned back when this was released time has been kind to the CARDIACS since this album is cited by countless artists as being a major influence in their own work and the consistent high praise and ratings only confirm that this will be loved for many decades to come. I am a very late discoverer of this group but once I heard this (my first album) I was instantly hooked and couldn't believe that this came out when it did. A latecomer to my musical collection it is but it has skyrocketed up to the top tier of my absolute favorites.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 The Seaside by CARDIACS album cover Studio Album, 1984
4.11 | 59 ratings

BUY
The Seaside
Cardiacs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars THE SEASIDE is the third release by the CARDIACS and like the previous two it was initially only released on cassette and only available at the band's concerts and through the fan club. The CD release which came out in 1995 was an abridged version. The original cassette tracks of "Nurses Whispering Verses," "Is This The Life?," "A Little Man And A House" and "Dinner Time" were not included because the master tape containing them had been damaged or lost. On another note "Is This The Life?," "A Little Man And A House" and "R.E.S." were re-recorded and included on the following album. "Nurses Whispering Verses" was also re-recorded and found a home on "Sing To God."

This is really where the interesting period with the CARDIACS begins where all the ska punk meets all those progressive layerings to make something unparalleled in the musical world. It has been called post punk, progressive punk, zolo and even pronk. Yes, they remind me a bit of Devo meets Madness with maybe some Zappa and countless other influences thrown in for good mix but I think anyone who has heard their music will admit that NOBODY sounds like the CARDIACS except they themselves.

This album takes what was started on their previous albums and adds, refines, perfects and intensifies. The album hosts no more than 12 musicians including sax, alto sax, two keyboardists, marimba, trumpets and trombone in addition to the standard rock ones. Despite this album being somewhat of a transitional one between two different lineups it manages to emerge as a very strong album and the first to be released on their own label. Not quite as good as their following but not too far off.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 The Obvious Identity  by CARDIACS album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.06 | 12 ratings

BUY
The Obvious Identity
Cardiacs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The CARDIACS actually started out in 1977 and experimented with names like Filth but changed their name to CARDIAC ARREST for their second concert and managed to release this rare cassette only release in 1980 before discovering that the band name was already taken. After toying with other names like The Alphabet and The Obvious Identity, they finally decided on the name they are better known as.

This is as lo-fi and straight from the artist as it gets. They only made 1000 cassettes and they were only sold at concerts. The quality is pretty bad as you can imagine but even from the very beginning the CARDIACS already had a developed fusion of their art punk and prog rock. This first album is raw and unpolished with more emphasis on the punk side of the equation without a lot of synth and no sax but there is absolutely no doubt who this is.

Tim Smith's (under the guise of Philip Pilf here) vocals are just as zany and proudly displaying his Estuary English. It begins with many strong tracks complete with odd time signatures and sudden unexpected pauses but the end of the album tends to sound closer to standard punk but there are signs of their signature zolo pronk there as well foreshadowing the more refined albums that would soon be created. This album is much better than I would have expected and well worth checking out. 3.5 rounded up

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window  by CARDIACS album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.32 | 182 ratings

BUY
A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window
Cardiacs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by admireArt

2 stars EXTRA!! "THE RESIDENTS"; HAVE BEEN ABDUCTED, STERILIZED; AND TURNED BACK TO PLAY THE MUSIC OF "GONG"!!! (With less humor; but all their cliches even Davids´s screams!!... READ ALL ABOUT IT!!!! ....Come on people; so this is where RIO is turning; backwards and nowhere. How F..King sad; really. Or maybe "GONG" is really, really; underrated and overlooked (When you come to terms with it) even in the RIO / AG category! . I was so excited to get this work. Why do people insist on looking forward if they dont know whats behind? Really there are things Music School cant! teach you; you have to do it by your own. How I miss Samla Mammas Manna; un-pretentious dexterity and real-humor! Because a Gong fan I never was; less their "they dont have a clue "replicas". Well so; this is how RIO sounds in the Sell-out or Die! ! ! "era" or go main-stream and lose your soul in the giving!! .So it came to this: More musicianship, less Balls, less daring, less original; F$$K! 2 - "IM SURE THEY HAVE LOYAL FANS STARS"

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Heaven Born And Ever Bright  by CARDIACS album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.72 | 39 ratings

BUY
Heaven Born And Ever Bright
Cardiacs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars I have liked the punk ! Even being a Pink Floyd and Yes addict I didn't feel the need to separate the two things and choosing just one. Punk was not mainstream as well as Tales from Topographic Oceans. Then the post-punk came bringing some actually good things. The best of them for me are the DEVO.

What makes me enjoy the Cardiacs a lot is that they are the only inheriters of that crazy band in a musical sense. This album is full of punk rhythms with post-punk sounds and absoulutely non-trivial and unusual sequences of chords. For my pleasure there are songs like "Goodbye Grace" and "Everything I Can't Eat" which sound both punk but together with more avant-prog things like She Is Hiding Behind The Shed" and the excellent "Helen And Heaven" which is not punk but it's for me the best album's track.

The sequence of the tracks has been chosen very carefully, I think. The fact that a song like Helen And Heaven is followed by "Bodysbad" which is very close to the DEVO of 15 years before means that the listener can't relax thinking to listen to a numebr of songs of the same kind. The change is big but not too much. There's a good balance in the list.

Of course the Cardiacs are better player than most of the artists of the punk era and even when they use rhythms and sounds from the punk age they are arranged very skillfully and some passages are light years over the technical possibilities of any punk rocker.

Another band whose I can hear some influences is the CARS. Don't get me wrong, I know that they were an electronic mainstream rock band, but some of their more "experimental" songs, especially those in wich they were produced by Andy Warhol, are not too distant from "Core" even if Cardiacs are clearly a British band with a British sound.

This album in particular is less experimental than its great predecessors but very far from being mainstream. In any case it's not too difficult and is approachable by everybody, unless one is used to listen to Charles Aznavour only.

A special mention to the album closer which is also the longest track. It contains a bit of everything, starting from the keyboard after the initial crescendo which can remind even to YES and the vocals coming just after which remind me the WHO of Tommy without losing the band's identity. This is Cardiacs! A great song which values the price for the whole album.

Excellent.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Sing To God by CARDIACS album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.31 | 200 ratings

BUY
Sing To God
Cardiacs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 'Sing to God' - Cardiacs (10/10)

Listening to Cardiacs, I get the mental image of a deranged gerbil in a hole somewhere composing music. Although at one point he may have been content to write jingles and fine- tuned pop ditties in exchange for sunflower seeds, Cardiacs represents everything past the point where the gerbil loses his grasp on reality and becomes wrapped up in creative fervor. Now unabated by mundane rodent things, the gerbil and his music fall deeper into madness. Although this may not do well to describe Cardiacs' manic mix of punk rock and avant-prog, it should give a good indicator of the feeling "Sing to God" gives me as a listener. It's catchy, experimental, and about as close to the peppy end of a manic depressive episode as I imagine music could aptly depict. Really, it's pop music beyond words or sense, and I can't seem to get enough of it.

Among other things, punk music arose as an opposition to the bombast and overcomplexity of progressive rock. In lieu of this, it's quite the irony to see Cardiacs not only fusing the two styles together, but doing so as if prog and punk were made for each other. "Sing to God" runs the gamut in terms of styles: a sense of symphonic bombast comparable to Yes is mixed with Beatles-esque baroque pop sensibilities and injected with the venom of pub- dwelling punk rock. These sounds- which would often conflict with each other in the 'real' world- are all fused with a viciously tongue-in-cheek attitude pleasantly reminiscent of Frank Zappa. I could also compare the band's overdubbed vocal harmonies to Queen, or the general 'what-the-hell-am-I-listening-to' atmosphere to Mr. Bungle, but Cardiacs ultimately stand on a ground of their own. Did I forget to mention that the band manage to make this experimental chaos as catchy as the plague?

Many of the songs on "Sing to God" rest on a tightrope between order and chaos. Many of the songs enjoy a level of comfort in catchy instrumental hooks and quaint vocal melodies. With the exception of a few tracks (most notably the cinematic-worthy "Dirty Boy", the unsettling soundscape "Quiet as a Mouse" and some of the shorter musical sketches), the majority of "Sing to God" boasts a foundation in good old fashioned songwriting. Vocalist and mastermind Tim Smith has a zany and wildly charismatic voice that would have even fit comfortably into British alternative rock canon, were it not for the extent Cardiacs take their basic elements and contort them. Although some elements are best kept as a surprise for fresh listeners, be sure to expect everything from 'chipmunk vocals' to film score flourishes, classically-influenced pianos, circus music, hyperpunk rhythmic energy and everything in between. Of particular note are the extra-wacky tunes "Dog-Like Sparky", "A Horse's Tale" and "Dirty Boy", a longer piece that gets remarkably profound and damned near celestial by the end of it. Tim Smith's lyrics are a world of their own, and though there's not often the sense that there's an explicit meaning behind the absurdity, they're absolutely fascinating within the context of such a chaotic album. Although- at an hour and a half- the album may be a little long for one comfortable sitting, there is no filler to speak of, although the first half is decidedly better than the latter.

In spite of the zany effects, absurdly surreal lyrics, wall-of-sound production and mile-per- second flow of ideas, Cardiacs remain- at their core- a pop band, and "Sing to God" remains a pop album. In the end, it's the interplay between the hyper-weird and catchy elements therein that makes the album so bloody fascinating. Depending on where your mental state may be at the time of listening, it will either be a trip through the most euphoric hyperparadise dreams could forge, or a reality-distrupting soundtrack to nightmares. Whatever way it may strike, "Sing to God" is pretty unforgettable, and it just may be the greatest experimental rock record I have ever had the strained pleasure of listening to.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 2.03 seconds