Saw the Cardiacs back in the ’80s when music TV as a worthy proposition. A university challenge spotlight highlighting bruised and bloody faces like a visual rewrite of “Bohemian Rhapsody” oozing with insane carnival colours. The kind of memories that stick with you in crooked smiles and water-squirting lapel flowers, the music as arresting as the spectacle glaring with zombie-esque madness replete with jerky arthritic motions.Numerous years later they’re still unlocking the archives. One such gem is Sing To God, originally released back in 1995, the band seemingly slimmed down to a foursome (if you don’t count the added extras). It’s a massive 19-track magus opus, originals of which command high prices on the second-hand market; and listening to this reissue I can see why.
It’s upbeat and eggy-eyed with plenty of rib-poking obliqueness. Jon Poole orchestrating Tim Smith‘s demo scribbles, throwing in plenty of hooks and jabbing momentums to the curious outlooks. Each track owning its personality, eking out a freshness that doesn’t sag for a moment, or droop into a uniformed sameness as it races away on those tempo grins. The lyrics all go faster blurs riding a carnivalesque Kinks bender, hula hooping through buttery rhythms with bright hands all over that roulette gamble of melody, as a child catcher nimbly gangles through the jiver of the words.
An absolute joy from start to finish.