[[caption-width-right:350:L-R: [[PsychopathicManchild Timmy]], [[CloudCuckoolander Bill]], [[TheSmurfettePrinciple Sarah]], [[TheEeyore JIM]], [[ButtMonkey Dom]]. At the back; [[SixthRanger Tim Q]] ]]
You want a band that complains about [[{{Suburbia}} Suburban Life]]? Come to Cardiacs. You want a band that combines ProgressiveRock and Punk. Come to Cardiacs. You want a band that preempted the Emo genre by about 10 years? Come to Cardiacs.

Cardiacs are that perfect band you've been looking for all your life but couldn't find because they're so damn obscure. Frontman Tim Smith is pretty much the only songwriter of the band. However, older brother Jim Smith is as much of a key character as Tim, bassist, batter-head, bully-bait, he's been "there" since Tim was a baby. Then there's Sarah, Tim's wife, saxophonist, pre-Seaside synth player, skirt wearer supreme, she's been "there" too.

The lineup went through a series of changes, but through all of it Tim and Jim Smith remained. In 2008, Tim Smith had a [[AuthorExistenceFailure stroke]] and [[HarsherInHindsight cardiac arrest]], leaving the band without a frontman. He's still around, but may never recover.

The Cardiac Arrest Lineup
* Mick Pugh: Vox
* Tim Smith: Guitar
* Jim Smith: Bass
* Colvin Mayers: Keyboards
* Peter Tagg: Drums

The "Classic 6-Piece"
* Tim Smith: Vox, Guitar,
* Jim Smith: Bass
* Sarah Smith: Sax
* William D. Drake: Keyboards
* Dominic Luckman: Drums
* Tim Quy: Percussion + Bass Synth

The "Power Quartet" Lineup
* Tim Smith: Vox, Guitar
* Jon Poole: Guitar
* Jim Smith: Bass
* Bob Leith: Drums

* ArtistExistenceFailure. Tim Smith suffered a stroke on the night of a Music/MyBloodyValentine gig. Tim then [[FromBadToWorse had a further stroke and Cardiac Arrest and is thus unable to even talk, let alone perform]].
* BlackDudeDiesFirst. Colvin Mayers who died of effects of AIDS on Boxing Day.
* BrotherSisterIncest. DoubleSubverted Tim and Sarah were set up by the band's manager as an incestuous brother and sister item, the desired outcome being publicity. Their onstage antics didn't exactly help this and many people actually believed it, with Kingston police 'investigating it'. The story got into a British tabloid and Ex-Cardiacs to this day still push it as the truth, although with tongue firmly in cheek.
* DamselInDistress. Jim Smith who looks particularly sad on most album covers/promo pictures.
* ManChild. Tim Smith [[PlayedForLaughs plays this for laughs]] and would often be really immature on stage and make commentary that someone 20 years his junior would have felt uncomfortable.
* NonAppearingTitle. "Bus for a Bus on the Bus", "The Obvious Identity", "As Cold As Can Be In An English Sea", "Is This The Life" to name but a few...
* NotChristianRock: Tim Smith has stated that the album 'Sing To God' is in no way a religious work, despite the word Jesus being clearly audible in amongst the lyrics of the song 'Fiery Gun Hand'.
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome. Most of Cardiacs' early material (As Cardiac Arrest) was either not recorded or recorded poorly (and to make matters worse only released once and in ''extremely'' limited quantities).
** Somewhat rectified by the special garage concerts, when live versions of their pre-1984 songs were played and recorded, with the end result being a double album featuring much, although not all, of the previously lost material.
* ShoutOut. Cardiacs were far from adverse to this:
** During Gloomy News Colvin Mayers would often play a short part of the ''Enter the Gladiators'' riff. Colvin appears to like ShoutOut since ''Rock Around the Clock'' (itself being a pun on the Music/BillHaleyAndHisComets song) was often introduced as "Real Rock and Roll!"
** 2:50 into [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta7_xmWpSx4 Dive]] a choral section starts. The lyrics? "Oh the grand old duke of York he had ten thousand men, he marched them up to the top of the hill and he marched them down again". Some of you may recognise that nursery rhyme...
** Half way into [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz8CpYyDPfY Pip As Uncle Dick But Peter Spoilt It]] there's a pretty big SpiderMan ShoutOut.
* {{Suburbia}}: The source material of many of Tim's lyrics. See also RealLifeWritesThePlot although less evident.
* [[IAmTheBand Tim is the Band]] Inverted with Jim being a punchbag on stage and music videos. Not to mention being in the band as long as Tim and standing next to him on stage.
* UncommonTime: Often, such as on the intro to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLtMwrjF8TM Will Bleed Amen]], which is in 13/8.