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Cardiacs - On Land And In The Sea CD (album) cover

ON LAND AND IN THE SEA

Cardiacs

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.30 | 126 ratings

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Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This is one of many superb albums in the 'Cardiacs' catalogue. The band that everyone either loves or hates. Amongst a miserable few years at the tail end of the 80's along come the effervescent and boisterous 'Cardiacs' playing their prog-punk without a care in the world.

Tim Smith's high pitched maniacal vocals dominate 'On Land and in the Sea'. He brings an intensity amongst the staccato stabbing sound that the 'Cardiacs' were so superb at executing.

At points the guitarist sounds like Brian May of 'Queen', but he's more delirious and frantic. I just laugh and smile at every verse Tim Smith sings. The guy is a quite frankly a genius. Possibly the the best singer-songwriter I've heard. He was influenced by 'Gentle Giant' and that's pretty obvious as you listen to the instrumentation on this album. It's 100 miles per hour stuff, without a dull moment, as if your two favourite prog bands were mashed through a food blender.

'On Land and in the Sea' is incredibly complex, with no regular beat appearing for more than a few seconds before stopping and suddenly changing at 90 degree angles.

Watching them live is like viewing a 'Three Stooges' movie as they slap and batter each other in a sea of verbal abuse. Along with the 'Residents' they surely have to be the most unusual artists on this website.

The 'Cardiacs' sound timeless and relevant in 2015, being completely undated with their fast, powerful and frantic tunes, which despite their really odd time signatures, don't seem to put a single beat out of time. For the likes of you and I this would have been absolute murder trying to record. So it's a big 'hat's off' to the drummer who somehow understands the mindset of his fellow musicians. I drum pretty competently, but I would never have got my head around this craziness for all its 40 minutes of psychedelic madness.

How on earth are human beings capable of doing this so perfectly?

Just listen to' The Duck and Roger the horse' - this encapsulates the whole album. Demented drums, stuttering keyboards and mental vocals run rampant where only 'Koenjihyakkei' of Japan come close in comparison.

The 'Cardiacs' were of the most unique and original bands you'll hear on this entire website - with nobody since able to advance and improve their complexity.

I hope you're feeling better Tim. You brought some happiness and sunshine to my life.

Dobermensch | 5/5 |

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