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





4.39 | 183 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Punk had its birth as a reaction to the megalomaniac attitude of the prog dinosaurs , everybody knows. So the late 70s saw a number of unskilled people playing a sort of rock&roll revival. Then somebody able to play tried to hide its skill by playing "punky". I mean bands like the Clash for example. But punk hadn't a long life. Soon somebody added some goodies to the punk and we had "new wave" artists like Lene Lovich and most of all the DEVO who had an old prog fart like Brian Eno behind the production.

This is where I think Cardiacs are from. Their music has its root in punk, but they have inherited the weirdness of DEVO and of course have added their own ears to obtain something that even with deeply British roots is still unique today.

One song for all: "The Leader Of The Starry Skies" has everything you need. Unusual signature, punk base and lyrics, a connection even with the ska and that crazy feeling which makes them so tasteful to me. I have actually loved bands like the DEVO and I honestly think that the Cardiacs are their "Evolution". I know that this sentence can seem a joke: evolution of devoluted.

Of course there are exceptions which make this band representative of the prog avant- garde. "The Duck and Roger the Horse" is an example. The sequence of chords and the changes in the signature are incredibly complicated. The sax played by Sarah Smith adds a further touch of jazzy crazyness, but apart when the drums are totally punk, we can hear much more. An epic condensed in less than 4 minutes.

A song like "Fast Robert" has a double face: from the musical side it's very complex, full of chords unusually jointed and at the same time has lyrics full of alliterations based on the sound of the words for than on the meanings. I have read Syd Barrett mentioned in one of the reviews of this album. This is a song in which I thing Barrett's influence can be seen. Luckily Cardiacs arrived at the end of the 80s and have had the possibility to avoid the worst of the decade.

As its predecessors this album is crazy. The songs is like they are sung by a happy fool even in the darkest moments. I think it's the insanity that makes this album so good. The weird smiles on the album's cover tell it clearly: this is a world of musicall madness. It's not allucinated like the world of Syd Barrett and it's everything but dark.

Of course a song like "Buds And Span" can't easily find a subgenre in which being inserted. The very good thing is that the quality of all the songs is excellent and the refrains (when there are refrains) are all great in terms of compositions. An excellent addition not to be missed from anybody's collection. Probably a lot of people will find them hard to digest like it often happens with RIO and Avant. Despite of that everybody with a bit of curiosity can proudly show this album in his collection.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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