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Cardiacs - A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window CD (album) cover





4.26 | 269 ratings

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5 stars "Now you have created your own monster"

Take the grandeur of early Genesis, the aggressive punk of the Sex Pistols, the intensity of "Pawnhearts" era VDGG, the madness of er.. Madness, the sheer complexity of Gentle Giant the snarly vocal delivery of The Cure and you will get some idea of what is in store for you if you decide to listen to this album. Of course most critics simply could not deal with this group's music especially as the could not pidgeon-hole it so decided it must be rubbish.Simply labeling this music "Pronk" ie Progressive Punk is not really useful easy as it implies that this was a Punk group trying to play Progressive Rock which is totally inaccurate. Make no mistake- these guys can really play and have a very sophisticated musical vocabulary.

In a parallel Universe The Cardiacs first album A Little Man A House And The Whole World Window would be hailed an all time Classic.Instead it is known to a few almost insanely enthusiastic fans.The opening track is a stunner fusing a morose Brass Band backing with strange industrial noises morphs and ends with a rousing Musical Hall chant-"That's The Way We All Go!"I must admit I have never fully worked out what the lyrics are referring to. They are clearly very personal and I am guessing the opening track is about hating work and adult responibilities "I'm Eating In Bed" sounds like Gentle Giant on speed with sudden shifts in tempo and time signatures."Is This The Life" is probably the best known track on the album and was even a - gasp- minor hit for them. It is driven along by a particularly catchy and insistent guitar riff similar in some ways to early U2. "The Breakfast Line"is one of the best tracks on the album starting off with some crazy false starts swirling circus organ music rapid tim,e signature changes before finally settling down to a truly satisfying and very proggy guitar solo over a ever rising chordal sequence.I so love this music. The mellotron soaked (IQ's Martin Orford's apparently!) finale"The Whole World Window" is truly beautiful and melancholic.Lyrically the album seems to be a corollary to the opening track -a sort of flashback to childhood and being forced to grow up and enter the adult world. This is Progressive Rock at it's most extreme and as such you either get it or you don't ie you love it or loathe it.Not surprisingly the other reviews appear to back this up- not many 2 or 3 stars! Personally it is one one of my absolute favourite albums. A solid 5 stars.

Lupton | 5/5 |


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