My Favourite Band Ever.
How to summarise Cardiacs in just 400 words? Well, I can't really give an objective review, as the title of this review may make clear, but I'll try to explain my love as well as I can. Cardiacs are a pop band. But not of the type you may hear in the charts. Tim Smith's compositions were often intricate and incredibly difficult to play, but, as in the case of tunes like Dead Mouse, could also be incredibly simple. I personally prefer their earlier material to their later material, as the pre-1990s stuff is heavier on singsong melodies, chirping keyboards, and rasping saxophones; while lighter on loud guitars, post-production effects, and double albums. Many people are put off on first listen, I certainly was, but those who return are in for a treat; because as the songs grow on you one begins to realise just how joyful they are. These are not dissonant masses of noise, they are catchy tunes cut up, layered together, and twisted around to create a deep, emotional, and unpredictable listening experience, just as filled with pure unbridled childlike happiness as it is freaked out paranoia. I would recommend 'A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window' as an introductory album for those coming from a more psychedelic/progressive taste spectrum, while I would recommend that album's follow up 'On Land and In The Sea' for those with a more Punk/New Wave styled palate. They require quite a bit of work for many people to get into, but almost anyone prepared to put in the effort will be greatly rewarded. As one learns the sounds and melodies, and by proxy, the words to their songs one soon finds oneself transported away into a manic world of excitement and energy by the furiously fast, almost romantic nature of their songs, combined with the interest and challenge involved in remembering every word and every tempo change to their songs. It is an experience worthy of laudation. What perhaps speaks most of the band is their influence on bands such as Blur and many others... Too many to list to be honest. 100% ;)