Tag Archives: Sing to God

Cardiacs: Sing to God

Released: 1996

 Personnel:

  • Tim Smith: guitar, vocals, keyboards
  • Jim Smith: bass, vocals
  • Jon Poole: guitars, vocals
  • Bob Leith: drums, vocals

Guests:

  • Sara Smith: saxophone, vocals
  • Claire Lemmon: vocals
  • Catherine Morgan, Chris Brierly, Mark Pharoah, Robert Woollard: strings
  • Mark Barratt: trumpet

Tracklist:

Disc 1

  1. Eden on the Air
  2. Eat it Up Worms Hero
  3. Dog-Like Sparky
  4. Fiery Gun Hand
  5. Insect Hooves on Lassie
  6. Fairy Mary Mag
  7. Bellyeye
  8. A Horse’s Tail
  9. Manhoo
  10. Wireless/Peril on the Sea

Disc 2:

  1. Dirty Boy
  2. Billion
  3. Odd Even
  4. Bell Stinks
  5. Bell Clinks
  6. Flap Off You Beak
  7. Quiet as a Mouse
  8. Angleworm Angel
  9. Red Fire Coming Out of His Gills
  10. No Gold
  11. Nurses Whispering Verses
  12. Foundling

Once upon a time, I watched a YouTube video. It featured several middle-aged, somewhat grizzled gentlemen and a younger man with wild black hair, playing various instruments and videoed from rather odd angles.  The bass player sat, substantial and impassive, wearing nothing but a small pair of underwear.

What I saw (and heard) is hard to describe – I barely understood it the first time through and had to immediately watch it about six more times.  Whatever these guys were doing, it was like nothing I had ever heard (or seen) before.  Imagine a slightly psychotic pop song, except with more rhythmic shifts and time-signature changes and sudden breaks and mad musical ideas packed into four minutes than most artists can fit on an entire album, pulled off by guys who looked like the sort of guys who get together to jam on amateur night at the local pub.  And pulled off absolutely flawlessly, tighter-than-tight, with maniacal skill.

The band was, of course, the Cardiacs, and the video was “Jibber and Twitch Rehearsal”. This review isn’t about that video, but it illustrates the basic process I went through while listening to Sing to God.  Which I believe (but honestly don’t remember) was my next real foray into the labyrinthine musical miracle that is Tim Smith and Cardiacs, after poking around on YouTube and ending up overwhelmed.

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