Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

August 5, 2010

Cardiacs ~ Rude Bootleg (live)

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Style: progressive, punk, experimental, art rock, British
Label: Alphabet Business Concern
Year: 1986
Home: Britain

Members: Tim Smith ~ guitar/vocals
Jim Smith ~ bass
Sarah Smith ~ sax
William D.Drake ~ keyboards
Dominic Luckman ~ drums
Tim Quy ~ percussion

"Girls have titties. Girls have titties. That's how they feed their babies. Look at that old dog." That's how frontman Tim Smith quasi-introduces the song "I'm Eating In Bed." With stage banter so disjointed ... go ahead & imagine what the music is like! I dare ya! This is probably one of the craziest & most unpredictable concert I've ever heard, though I know some will challenge that assertion with their favorite Zappa show but having heard Zappa & not being a fan I feel this is stranger. The band, titties and not, creates a cornucopia of nearly disjointed fragmentary sounds labeled as songs played by the child of King Crimson at it's most chaotic with Captain Beefhart's band joining in to spice up the strange arrangements. Add to that the nearly violently fast energy & attitude of the Dropkick Murphies & you have art rock at its fragmentary nearly unlistenable best. Nearly unlistenable, but not unlistenable. The keyboards keep this from being a guitar driven punk album a la Talking Heads, albeit it also keeps the unexpected factor high. The focus point is often Tim Smith's vocal catortions with his heavy British accent. His vocal style ranges from singing to near talking & I can't help but wonder what Smith's talents would be when put towards writing a Broadway show? Nearly an invalid from a stroke over a year ago we'll never know. The Talking Heads & Frank Zappa are close relatives of the Cardiacs & in many ways aimed for a similiar mood with their arrangements, but went for a more contemplative approach to the mix of prog-rock/punk, let alone something more radio friendly. & David Byrne was never the angry young man that Tim Smith is. The energy, magnified by the live setting, is more punk than pretencious as is typical of much prog-rock with whom the Cardiacs often identify themselves with. Unpredictable, chaotic & verging on violence are key words of this release. As for unpredictable, "In A City Lining" a heavily echoed kazoo is featured throughout playing the melody as a demonstration of the unpredictability. This is considered the classic line-up of the band on the heals of the their successfully received Big Ship album. Having also listened to many of their studio albums, including Big Ship, I actually lean more to this than their studio stuff. I'm reminded of Y&T who were great on stage but the energy didn't come across in the slick studio. This is really the way to hear the Cardiacs where maximum cocophany is the key word. The studio albums are boring after this. Their more famous live album All That Glitter's Is A Mare's Nest features better production & more songs but it's not so wild & shows a more digestable side.

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