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Cardiacs - Sing to God (1996, Reissue 2014)

8-04-2015, 11:55
Music | Rock | Alternative | Punk | Indie | FLAC / APE

Cardiacs - Sing to God (1996, Reissue 2014)

Artist: Cardiacs
Title Of Album: Sing to God
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: The Alphabet Business Concern
Genre: Progressive Rock, Punk Rock
Quality: 320 / FLAC
Total Time: 88:27 min
Total Size: 203 / 562 MB
WebSite: amazon


01. Eden On The Air
02. Eat It Up Worms Hero
03. Dog-Like Sparky
04. Fiery Gun Hand
05. Insect Hoofs On Lassie
06. Manhoo
07. Fairy Mary Mag
08. Bellyeye
09. A Horses Tail
10. Wireless
11. Dirty Boy
12. Billion
13. Odd Even
14. Bell Stinks
15. Bell Clinks
16. Flap Off Your Beak
17. Angleworm Angel
18. Red Fire Coming Out From
19. No Gold
20. Nurse Whispering Verses
21. Foundling
22. Quiet As A Mouse

Originally released in 1996 in a limited run of 3000 double album CD sets and later separately as volumes 1 & 2, Cardiacs' epic masterpiece Sing To God has finally been given the 180g vinyl release that it always deserved. A beautiful thing it is too - from the Night Of The Hunter inspired disembodied heads floating against a dark night sky dotted with stars on the front cover, to the previously unseen band photographs on the inside sleeves and the individual band members' faces now adorning a side each on the centre labels. The creepy fairytale atmosphere of the Charles Laughton film makes it an entirely appropriate image that resonates perfectly with the album's overall vibe. The fact that the band members' eyes are all rendered artificially larger, suggesting wide-eyed children, or perhaps adults returned to that beatific state by the administration of some pharmaceutical philtre, also attests to the truly psychedelic nature of the sounds contained within.

Held in high esteem by the fans themselves, as well as being considered to be the best point of entry for beginners, STG represents the pinnacle of Tim Smith's studio mastery and exhibits elements of the gentler side of his Sea Nymphs project alongside the full-on helter skelter, breakneck velocity more usually associated with the band. It is also, despite the richness of its orchestration and more experimental tendencies, decidedly a pop record - one as quintessentially English sounding as Pink Floyd's seminal Piper At The Gates of Dawn or XTC's classic English Settlement.

As well as being extremely easy on the eye, the vinyl itself sounds wonderful. A sound like a wind chime being struck followed by some seconds silence proceeds from the initial drop of the needle as 'Eden On The Air' swells, imperceptibly at first, to coalesce like early morning mist, beautiful but only briefly there. After such serenity, 'Eat It Up Worms Hero' comes as something of a shock, shaking the listener rudely out of their reverie. Easily the album's most abrasive and chaotic sounding track, I'd put money on the likelihood that the most unfavourable of the initial reviewers didn't make it past this point. Whether this was consciously Smith's design, to play "out" from the beginning to scare off the faint of heart because this wasn't for them anyway, the end result is pretty hard to argue with. This is not a tune that would have existed on an early Cardiacs album, but rather a product of Smith using the studio as instrument, conducting a mass of choral voices against buzzsaw guitars and manic electronic pulses.

I know that some long term Cardiacs fans prefer the earlier albums but for me this really misses the importance of the transition in the band's sound that began with Heaven Born & Ever Bright and found full expression in STG, which marked the point where Smith's ability to express the music inside his head really began to transcend any sort of identifiable genre and turned Cardiacs into something truly unique. Although on STG, Smith's influences are undeniably still 70s and early 80s in their origin, the band's compressed, trebly sound, packed with melodic detail and twisty atonal about turns is completely their own - far more so in fact than their earlier material and less specifically tied to any moment in time. Naysayers may indeed welcome the fact, but nobody else sounds quite like this.

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