A visit to ‘The Seaside’ again with Cardiacs

cardiacs_the-seaside_reissue_2015

I was once a Little Man aged 11 looking out of my Little House through my parents Whole World Window. It was a beautifully innocent time hanging out in the burbs of Surrey, riding my BMX after homework through wet leaves and spiky conkers, not giving a hoot about anything. The stereo in my bedroom played 7″ records from Adam Ant, The Jam, The Specials and Madness, slabs of vinyl bought on a Saturday afternoon in the little independent record shop in our hometown of Sutton. Chick-a-Boom, was owned by an overweight biker who sat behind the counter with a huge beard. Aside from his overwhelming presence I loved the smell of the vinyl there, as opposed to the big store on the high street they called Woolworth’s, where my Mum preferred visiting for her records. Collecting music weekly became something special but as you know, the Whole World Window is a very special and endless space – where discovery, is everything.

Somewhere hidden in the suburbs of the same county in 1984, Cardiacs were preparing the release of their original cassette of The Seaside. They were only a few miles down the road. Their off-the-wall, psychedelic punk rock was being distributed to the ears of the chosen few throughout Kingston Uni and the suburban alternative pubs like The Mill and in other small towns nearby in Surbiton, Teddington and beyond. Little did I know that a few years later just one sniff of Cardiacs’ musical drug would change my entire life, forever.

Trying to explain Cardiacs’ sound to those who have never heard them before was always difficult. Like Victorian funfair music in a knife fight with John Carpenter; an horrific, terrifyingly exciting sound that should be used for torture purposes, they said. It wasn’t for everyone, but I wasn’t everyone, I fell in love on first play and made it the soundtrack to my life. We had a crew of us at school who worshipped the band but most people thought we were weirdos. This was a local band, one that our brothers had past down the line to us and we totally enjoyed being those weirdos. It was an honour to wear that badge…with the flower on it.

Cardiacs’ live shows were like anti-theatrical minefields that detonated every single explosive part of your brain. They left you in tiny pieces, excelling you to the verge of heart attack with excitement whilst every breath of air around you (and a huge fan) pushed tiny pieces of confetti into the air creating a dream-like scenario – kinda like the best acid trip of all time but without the strychnine come-down. And so it began, my Cardiacs virginity was taken at NESCOT college on February 10th, 1989 and it left me turned completely inside out. I remember leaving that room feeling like a lost dog, confused, horny and wreckless, with my lipstick hanging out. Only Cardiacs fans are going to read these words so you know exactly what I’m talking about. The question is: Where did you lose yours? Tell us in the comments at the end of this waffle.

Ph: Steve Payne

cardiacs_photo

William D. Drake’s keyboard prowess, Dominic’s incredible precision drumming, percussionist Tim Quy’s vital inclusion, Sarah’s huge smile and her mighty presence on sax all made the shows shine like nothing else. Jim Smith’s bass playing, down trodden persona and incessant bullying, dished out by brother Tim, made the show the most unnerving experience I’d ever seen. Tim’s ranting, swinging of his guitar and insane facial expressions was pure madness, but oh so controlled and delivered like a pro. All other bands playing live at that time in Ewell seemed boring and pointless, so finally I had found Armageddon in music form and it became an instant obsession. I hit the road to as many Cardiacs shows that I could get to with my new driving license and crappy brown Ford Fiesta. It made for a decent bed after the gigs finished too.

The biggest problem with my new found addiction was that their Seaside album, released on cassette, seemed to be some sort of myth. Kind of like what Animal Chin was for skateboarders; you couldn’t find it anywhere but it left inspiration with everyone who came in contact with it. The internet and mobile phones didn’t exist of course – just fanzines, the fan club and record fairs, so I searched far and wide for The Seaside (The Obvious Identity and Toy World) until a friend’s friend of a friend came good with a blank TDK D60 copy. All I ever wanted were the originals though and to this day they still evade me. The CD re-issue in 1995 (and 1990) were must-haves but a few of my favourite tracks from the live shows didn’t make the pressings.

Hearing ‘Dinner Time’ on the new re-issue today made me bounce off the walls. It was like discovering Cardiacs for the very first time again. Similarly, the mesmerising riff of ‘Nurses Whispering Verses’ was always a favourite live (alongside the chaotic punk rock assault of To Go Off and Things). These were rare gems in between the epic singles, ‘Is This the Life?’ and ‘A Little Man and a House’ – both legendary works from the amazing songwriting and production skills of Tim Smith. It’s very rare to find talent like this man was blessed with. Tim created another planet through his own World Window that we could all see, feel and touch – like nothing we had ever discovered before, or have been close to discovering since.

It breaks my heart to be reminiscing all of this right now knowing that Tim is unwell and has suffered through illness. Even though Cardiacs’ music is played weekly in these parts it always leaves me praying for his health – and I’m no religious man. He changed people’s lives forever and we are here right now to give it all back. I doff my hat to Tim Smith. Sir, you are a true musical legend.

Ph: Sarah Maher

tim_smith_cardiacs

These words were written ten minutes after the album finished from hitting my email account today. The fingers did not stop, the memories came too fast and I just had to spit everything out. The re-issued record will be coming out via the Alphabet Business Concern on November 30th this year with those 4 tracks mentioned above and the original running order on CD, double gate-fold vinyl – both cut from the original 1984 1/4″ master reel. There’s also a tasty boxset coming, with the inclusion of replica newsletters, (YOUsletters) a cassette, poster, Walker prints, lyric booklet and a beautiful photo book containing previously unseen photography.

Prepare space in your wonderful record collection next month to re-own some magical musical history and enjoy listening to ‘Dinner Time’ from this release that we have been lucky enough to unleash for you today. It’s a marvellous tune that has been missing from the Cardiacs catalogue since the cassette release of The Seaside. Pre-order the box set here.

Big love to all Cardiacs followers worldwide.

Zac

éS Sal 20 web doc

es-slb-23-20-00

Those who remember the Etnies Sal 23 shoe back in the day know that it was a game changer. They were an innovative skater owned shoe choice, backed with the skills of Sal Barbier who was pushing skateboarding forwards at a rate of knots.

Watch this new éS web doc on the history of the shoe that they’ve re-issued this week and look out for them on your travels.

Doctor and the Crippens

Doctor and the Crippens
Raphanadosis
Boss Tuneage

doctor_

There are certain albums from the 80s that bring back so many incredible memories that you just have to re-buy them – Raphanadosis is definitely one those. From the grinding blast beats of ‘Garden Centre Murders’ to the zombie intro of ‘Braindead’, (still one of the best intro’s to a hardcore record of all time) this 22-track masterpiece full of nightmares comes packed with super-fast, quintessentially British hardcore with humorous subject matter that will be an anthem for many.

The gritty, monstrous vocals of ‘My Brother Is A Headcase’ still sounds like a vegetarian is tied up in a basement being force-fed bacon whilst listening to ‘Henenlotter’ on repeat. The eerie build up in ‘Button Moon’ still retains a creepy cesspit of misery before you are blown into outer space.’The Kid With The Removable Face’ is still being used as a frisbee (and still making me LOL) and ‘8 Years in Office’ and ‘Extreme Noise T’ are still the best shortest songs on the album. More records should also have titles for the A and B sides too. Side ‘Insecticide’ was always followed by Side ‘Fungicide’ with this release, you could never just listen to half of it. Brilliant stuff.

I feel like ‘Wurzel Gummidge on acid’ listening to this again, a feeling most would probably avoid. Maybe that’s what Raphanadosis actually means. I never knew what it was when I was 16 listening when this was on my record player, in fact I always referenced is as SNIT which seems to have disappeared from the brilliant front cover art. It’s probably gone for a good reason that I don’t understand and that is exactly why this album is so damn brilliant. I never wanted to know who Doctor and the Crippens were really. So stoked I’ve caught Raphanadosis 26 years later.

Top marks to Boss Tuneage this month who have decided to get this classic out of the punk rock vaults and re-package it for the exploding cabbage appreciation society that followed this seminal bunch of laugh-a-minute punks.

Pick up the re-issue from here. It’s a must have double vinyl and CD package that comes with 15 extra tracks from their John Peel Show in (1989), the North Atlantic Noise Attack comp LP and Avant Gardening 12” EP. All that for £8!

Zac

London Posse

London Posse
‘Money Mad’
Tru Thoughts

Let’s head back into 1987 when London Posse kicked off a career in Hip Hop that would last a legendary lifetime in British hip hop.

Made up of Sipho, Rodney P, Bionic and DJ Biznizz they kicked off with a self titled release on Big Life produced by a young Tim Westwood followed by the seminal ‘Money Mad’ on Westwood’s Justice Records in 1988 that put Rodney P and Bionic on the map. The Posse may have split leaving these remaining two members but they went from strength to strength to release ‘Gangster Chronicle’, one of UK hip hop’s most cherished slabs of vinyl that is scheduled for a full re-issue treatment on 17th June via Tru-Thoughts.

Keep an ear out for ‘Money Mad’ with brand new remixes coming from Drumagick and Wrongtom on 13th May and if you don’t click on the play button on this documentary you will never know your Tru roots. Support it whilst we try and find out who those skaters are in the opening frames…answers on a postcard please.

Deaf Havana

Deaf Havana
‘Fools And Worthless Liars – Deluxe Edition’

I have to admit, when I first heard Deaf Havana‘s material after the departure of unclean vocalist Ryan Mellor, I couldn’t help but feel a bit disheartened. It really lacked the punk bite that their early work was full of. But eventually 2011’s ‘Fools And Worthless Liars‘ began to grow on me, and I’d happily put it up there as one of the most solid rock albums to come from the UK that year.

Via a short documentary put out in summer 2012, the band announced they would be re-releasing the album later this autumn. Rather than just doing some fancier album artwork and a couple of bonus tracks, Deaf Havana went the extra mile and re-recorded the whole thing. Ever the pessimist and never fully content, front man James Veck-Gilodi admitted he didn’t feel the album completely reflected his taste in music where as this re-release does.

All of the songs have been reworked, some slightly, others completely, making the album a totally different listen to the record that appeared first time around. Tracks that were previously acoustic are now performed as a full band and rockier numbers are now toned-down gems. Its beautiful. Lets pick a few stand out tracks to discuss…

Opener ‘The Past Six Years’ feels like its heavily influenced by Irish Rock (think Flogging Molly), and despite being a million miles away from DH records such as ‘It’s Called The Easy Life’ it gets this album off to an optimistic and quite literally stomping start. Piano and vocal track ‘Anemophobia’ is absolutely stunning. Broken down to structurally core elements, James Veck-Gilodi sounds vulnerable and desperate against the lonely notes. Its a heart wrenching performance that could connect with even the emptiest of souls. During ‘Hunstanton Pier’ the guitar tone adds nostalgia and brings the lyrical content to life, but its ‘I’m A Bore Mostly’ that epitomises why this album is a must have.

The recording process of using multiple microphones placed around an old warehouse is slightly bizarre but the effect it has on the track puts it into a different dimension. As the music reverberates through your speakers it feels as if you are there with James as he passionately performs. Even the sound of him slamming the door as he leaves the ‘studio’ is included on the track, a unique element that adds a personal touch to the piece, emphasising the emotion.

Again it has to be said, this isn’t Deaf Havana of old, but thats not a criticism. Its not their early punk/hardcore style, its not their most recent mainstream rock vibe, it’s something else. It is a showcase of the band’s (and in particular their dynamic front man’s) extraordinary talent. It is a touching album which has re-worked a commendable original into something worth treasuring.

Words: Emma Wallace

Dag Nasty to reform, Rites of Spring to release demos

ritesofspring_dischordFunny things are a happening in Washington DC right now. Following the news this week that Dag Nasty have reformed (the original ‘Can I Say’ line up), Dischord Records have announced that they have re-issued the original Rites of Spring demos.

All of this has come, no doubt from the forthcoming ‘Salad Days’ documentary that is currently being put together by Scott Crawford in the US, a film neding funding for completion right now but is much anticpated in the hardcore scene.

Dag Nasty will play on 28th December at the Black Cat venue in Washington and the Rites of Spring demos that were released on casette only in 1984 will get its first official release on October 23rd from the Dischord website.

Of Mice and Men

OF MICE & MEN
The Flood (Deluxe 2 Disc Re-Issue)
(Rise Records)
http://www.facebook.com/ofmice

Southern California’s Of Mice & Men are constantly growing in popularity. The band -who are currently on the Vans Warped Tour- have quenched fans’ thirst for new material with a 2 disc deluxe re-issue of their critically acclaimed album ‘The Flood’ featuring 4 new tracks.

The bonus tracks start with a tantalizing instrumental piece ‘The Calm’. The reverberating clean guitars are a beautiful yet eerie experience to behold, clearly implying the saying ‘The calm before the storm’…

As ‘The Storm’ picks up tempo, Austin Carlile’s strained and emotional screams kick start a typical ballsy Of Mice & Men riff. On the original release of ‘The Flood’, ‘Ben Threw’ and ‘Ohioisonfire’ showed Of Mice & Men’s capability to produce intense riffs and rhythms whilst maintaining an underlying bounce, but they are nothing in comparison to the punishing assault of third bonus track, ‘The Flood’ and final new number, ‘The Depths’. It seems that after the departure of Shayley Bourget, clean vocals have been left to one side with the band focusing on a new level of heaviness.

Presented with flowing continuity, the bonus tracks are an impeccable addition to ‘The Flood’. The production of the tracks is highly commendable in its own right, the magnitude of the atmospherics are on the same level as Bring Me The Horizon’s ‘There Is a Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let’s Keep it a Secret’. With its new additions, the re-issue can be appreciated by fans from across the metal spectrum with influential elements of artists such as The Devil Wears Prada, We Came As Romans, Pierce The Veil & even Slipknot shining through.

If first time around, ‘The Flood’ begged to differ that metalcore was a dying art, the re-issue demolishes any ideas that the genre is dated and builds a platform from which Of Mice & Men can dominate the current scene. The flood is coming again.

Words: Emma Wallace

10 years of The Avalanches ‘Since I Left You’

The Avalanches watershed debut album, ‘Since I Left You‘, is about to receive the deluxe 10-Year Anniversary treatment it deserves.

The Since I Left You 10-Year Anniversary Re-Issue will feature the original classic album accompanied by a bonus disc of material including remixes from the original album campaign, new reworks from the likes of El Guincho, MF Doom, Canyons, Black Dice, Jackson and his Computer Band, some exquisite Avalanches remixes of other artists, plus unreleased early b-sides, demo tracks and other such rarities.