Cardiacs: Classic or Dud?

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Helen And Heaven and March are two of my favourite Cardiacs tracks, but I find that record can sometimes be a bit of a tough listen, it's quite middle-y sounding.

― MaresNest, Friday, May 4, 2018 11:50 PM (three weeks ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I actually made my own "fixed" version of HBAEB with the bass lifted and the mid-range softened. Obviously not as good as a properly supervised remaster would be, but it does the job when I'm out and about and don't fancy having my eardrums wrecked every time a track crops up on my MP3 player.

Brainless Addlepated Timid Muddleheaded Awful No-Account (Pheeel), Saturday, 26 May 2018 18:38 (five months ago) Permalink

I did this just the other day with a record by the band Eight Storey Window that has a really terrible cheap, pingy snare that goes straight through me.

MaresNest, Saturday, 26 May 2018 19:05 (five months ago) Permalink

I've never had any issues with the mix on that album. Is it a CD mastering problem? I usually listen to it on the old vinyl copy or the cassette which I taped from the vinyl (in my ancient car).

everything, Saturday, 26 May 2018 21:27 (five months ago) Permalink

I had to do that with this obscure punk band the Absentees. Their track on Killed By Death #7 is muddy as hell but the official CD reissue goes completely the opposite and is extremely trebly instead. I had to edit it in Cool Edit to boost the bass to make a listenable version

Colonel Poo, Saturday, 26 May 2018 23:06 (five months ago) Permalink

I've never thought that Heaven Born or StG were the best sounding records but the production is a small part of what makes them distinct; anyway no mattter how harsh and trebly they are you can still hear the bass so it's OK by me.

obnoxious pun (ultros ultros-ghali), Sunday, 27 May 2018 09:29 (five months ago) Permalink

I always thought that the sound of StG and HBaEB were a result of the limitations of Tim's home studio plus how his own brain reacts to mid freqs, you can hear it also in some (but not all) of the records he produced and recorded. he def has a way of mixing that can sometimes be a little pushy in that spectrum.

They're not, by any means, full of screeching mids, he balances quite tricky middle frequencies (mostly guitar blare) fairly well, but as my own ears get older they're less well equipped to handle certain mids, so I tend to watch what I'm doing to preserve it.

MaresNest, Sunday, 27 May 2018 10:06 (five months ago) Permalink

The '95 reish of HBAEB (I always read that as Hey Babe!) is supposedly utterly trashed and distorted for some reason (something to do with a bucket and some nails....)

The recent vinyl and digital versions are I believe from the '92 master which is quite light on bass but not too bad at all, jt's appropriate to the style and what he intended.

Absolute Unit Delta Plus (Noel Emits), Sunday, 27 May 2018 11:04 (five months ago) Permalink

STG frustrates me a bit on that front. It is just a little harsh in those mids and my ears are also very sensitive to that. My preferred way to listen has become a normal position cassette of a CD-R rip of the vinyl ;-)

Absolute Unit Delta Plus (Noel Emits), Sunday, 27 May 2018 11:08 (five months ago) Permalink

Whenever this thread is bumped I'm expecting news of an obscurities or live recordings dump on Bandcamp.

Ditzy Scene and Faster Than Snakes should appear at some point. What else is missing (apart from LSD)?

Absolute Unit Delta Plus (Noel Emits), Sunday, 27 May 2018 11:15 (five months ago) Permalink

One day, the original A Balloon For Bertie's Party will emerge in its best-prog-song-by-a-teenager-ever glory

imago, Sunday, 27 May 2018 11:18 (five months ago) Permalink

StGs big secret is that it's all drum machine apparently.

MaresNest, Sunday, 27 May 2018 11:49 (five months ago) Permalink

Every beat was sequenced, it's a library of sampled Bob.

Brainless Addlepated Timid Muddleheaded Awful No-Account (Pheeel), Sunday, 27 May 2018 12:52 (five months ago) Permalink

Thanked by Cardiacs-hating record store employees for buying one of the band’s LPs because “our boss loves them and now he can’t play this in the shop anymore.”

— Andy Zax (@andyzax) June 6, 2018

mookieproof, Wednesday, 6 June 2018 16:41 (five months ago) Permalink

He'll find a way

imago, Wednesday, 6 June 2018 19:17 (five months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Guns seems pretty laid back for this band despite some typically energetic tracks. Or did Sing To God have this same balance?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 15 September 2018 10:33 (two months ago) Permalink

It's definitely quieter but the emotions and the compositions are just as intense. It's a very tragic and mysterious album - very inspired by Night Of The Hunter

imago, Saturday, 15 September 2018 10:51 (two months ago) Permalink

Had no idea about that. Wikipedia says it's utilized in a cut-up technique way, so perhaps not exactly inspired but just spliced in?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 15 September 2018 11:45 (two months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

It is now nigh on nine months since the start of the Just Giving campaign, and perhaps high time for an update on how things have been going for Tim since then.
Unfortunately, at around the time of the launch, Tim became seriously ill, and it has taken him a while to get his strength back. Thankfully though, in the last couple of months his health has improved enough to start his rehabilitation in earnest.

So he now has:
*A Speech and Language Therapist
*A neuro-physiotherapist
*A masseuse
*A Feldenkrais therapist
*A Support Assistant to help with the everyday stuff
...and his own PA to coordinate things for him.

As well as this, he has a new state-of-the-art touch screen computer, and access to the resources needed to enable him to attend gigs more often.
Tim is at the beginning of what we hope will be an exciting journey for him, and it's all down to the financial support given, with love, by you.

With love from Mary x

MaresNest, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 10:48 (one month ago) Permalink


It's one of those things - if a 6Music show begins with "is this the life", I fear the worst thesedays. Thankfully, it's just that it's "time to play that record"

Mark G, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 11:01 (one month ago) Permalink

The JustGiving is still open so I'll bump it here:

(hopefully this will also remind to chip in again later)

a passing spacecadet, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 11:47 (one month ago) Permalink

Would be amazing if those of us who care could keep him afloat with the yearly care costs as long as is required.

MaresNest, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 13:56 (one month ago) Permalink

was really heartwarming to see a bunch of people donate to that campaign under famous musicians' names with a message about how inspired they were by him

I think I did three of the Monkees

frogbs, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 14:01 (one month ago) Permalink

Oh smart! I'm totally going to do that from now on.

MaresNest, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 14:16 (one month ago) Permalink

From the Royal Conservatoire Of Scotland's FB page -

The man who inspired musicians Blur, Radiohead and Biffy Clyro is to be honoured at the RCS winter graduation on October 25. Tim Smith of the Cardiacs is to receive an Honorary Doctor of Music to celebrate his remarkable contribution to the music industry.

MaresNest, Friday, 19 October 2018 17:57 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Sweet. Congrats, doc.

Walter Wegmüller Fruit Corner (Noel Emits), Friday, 19 October 2018 18:31 (four weeks ago) Permalink

That said, FFS the man's contribution does not mainly consist of inspiring a bunch of more famous bands. Inevitable but ridiculous that Cardiacs (or anyone, really) should be framed like that. The Radiohead thing is highly spurious anyway so there's no need to hold him even partly responsible for that!

Walter Wegmüller Fruit Corner (Noel Emits), Friday, 19 October 2018 18:42 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I mean its essentially a press blurb, if it gets people interested mission accomplished. But yeah that really irks me too, I know nothing of "Biffy Clyro" but Cardiacs don't sound a thing like those other two bands. or anyone really.

frogbs, Friday, 19 October 2018 18:45 (four weeks ago) Permalink

except their army of devotee musicians keeping the flame alive :)

imago, Friday, 19 October 2018 18:48 (four weeks ago) Permalink

blur i can see btw; radiohead gtfo

imago, Friday, 19 October 2018 18:48 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Tim Smith, whose music inspired international luminaries such as Deep Turtle and Shrubbies...

Seriously though this is some nice news. ty Scotland

obnoxious pun (ultros ultros-ghali), Friday, 19 October 2018 19:12 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Dawson, Dog-Faced Hermans or Stretcheads if they needed token Scottish act rather than LOL Biffy Clyro.

everything, Friday, 19 October 2018 21:24 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Haha yeah, Buntychunks vs Radiohead

MaresNest, Saturday, 20 October 2018 11:27 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Didn't realize Biffy Clyro were still big.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 20 October 2018 14:18 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Hope this links okay because it's unlisted, but here is the live stream for Tim's nomination at the Royal Conservatoire today, accepted on his behalf by Jim.

MaresNest, Thursday, 25 October 2018 19:40 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Jim deserves an award almost as much for his services to bass guitar tbh

imago, Thursday, 25 October 2018 20:11 (three weeks ago) Permalink

that video's lovely, thank you

imago, Thursday, 25 October 2018 23:24 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I thought so too, made me a little teary

MaresNest, Thursday, 25 October 2018 23:52 (three weeks ago) Permalink

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