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Album Review

Shrill and freaky. Anarchic and a bit oompah-oompah. Almost unanimously loathed. Perhaps what you'd expect if you raised small orphans solely on prog-rock records scratched into the higher channels of Megadeth's Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! while they formed a union to demand to go catch the latest Dexy's Midnight Runners tour. Cardiacs' first studio album is one for the amnesiacs of the world. It leaps about, chews on its own rhythms — like "In a City Lining," often 43 times within the same song — eschewing choruses as if conventional songwriting caused cancer. It's reckless, difficult music that still retains a sense of celebration. The equivalent of a top-secret document with the best bits blacked out.


Formed: 1978

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Combining the D.I.Y.-attitude of the early punk years with an affection for progressive rock acts such as Gong and Gentle Giant, the U.K. act the Cardiacs formed in late 1977 by Tim Smith, who quickly enlisted brother Jim Smith to join the fledgling outfit. The alleged fact that Jim couldn't play an instrument mattered little and the band took the moniker Cardiac Arrest. Their first actual release was a single, "A Bus for a Bus on the Bus," in 1979, which they followed with a full-length cassette...
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A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window, Cardiacs
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