"Is This The Life" was not only the band's only modest hit but also the band's most radio-friendly song by a mile -- it's sort of a Cure-ish blend of new wave and post-punk and the only song on this album that remotely resembles the mainstream music of the era it was released into. If you need an easy entry point into Cardiacs' music, that song might be it, but if it caught your eye that this band is linked to oddballs like Mr. Bungle and Napalm Death and you want to jump right into the weird stuff, songs like "In A City Lining," "Dive," and "R.E.S." are some of the finest examples of Cardiacs' ability to fuse punk energy, pop smarts, and schizophrenic mania. It's songs like these that change mood, tempo, and key at the drop of a hat. They're full of oddly addictive melodies and spastic rhythms and they completely throw out the book on orthodox song structures. When you look at all the ingredients that make them up, they seem like they should sound like a mess. It's nearly a miracle that they sound like perfect pop songs.

Last year, we sadly lost Cardiacs leader Tim Smith after years of illness. Tim's impossible-to-pin-down progressive punk band never got huge and it isn't for everyone, but for those who got it, it was life-changing. Among his fans were members of Faith No More, Porcupine Tree, Blur, Napalm Death, Voivoid, Pinback, and more, all of whom paid tribute after Tim died. We recently looked back on Tim's life with a retrospective review of 1988's A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window, which is quoted above.

Up until today, the only way to stream Cardiacs online was Bandcamp, but if you've been hoping they'd add their music to streaming services, you're in luck. As of now, Cardiacs' legendary discography is officially on streaming services! If you still haven't exposed yourself to their charm, I highly recommend using this opportunity to do so. And for Spotify/Apple Music/etc users who are already fans, get listening. We've embedded some of the albums below...

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