Guns

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eadric
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Guns

Postby eadric » Wed Feb 12, 2014 17:23

Alright then, rather than ruin Mr Holdsworth's thread, let's have it out on Guns! I think there's a few weak songs, Tim perhaps over-uses the tempo changes, and oddly it feels rather, well, straight for a Cardiacs record*. Jitterbug is four minutes of vamping until that lunatic chord progression kicks in (yeah, I tabbed it out once). Signs, Song of a Dead Pest, etc...bit dull.

* (I like to think of it as Sparks playing Heaven Born, that Sparks glam rock stomp is all over this)

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dogsetc.
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Postby dogsetc. » Wed Feb 12, 2014 18:41

Everyone who was then anyone had their say here: viewtopic.php?f=38&t=119

I empathise/d with schlep because his initiation was alike with mine. Perhaps this will bring him back, see if he still agrees with himself. I probably will.

It's the last great Cardiacs album.

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snowman
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Re: Guns

Postby snowman » Thu Feb 13, 2014 08:50

I said it before somewhere / somewhen on here: it's the *best* Cardiacs album!

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drterror666
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Re:

Postby drterror666 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:51

dogsetc. wrote:It's the last great Cardiacs album.


Well, studio album, anyway. Does that sound pedantic?

I love Guns, which I think I said on the 'other' thread. I saw them play most of the songs live in Bristol back in '99, which, incidentally, was the last time I ever saw them play live ::cry:

It did leave me with good memories, though! :rock: :drinkers: :rolleyes:
Hello little doggy,
My, you are a nice dog,
What did you just say then?
You could do some tricks! Oh, good, then will you show me?
My word that's a good one!
Would you like a cigarette?
No you can't, they're bad for you!

Image

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Snardbafulator
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Re: Guns

Postby Snardbafulator » Fri Feb 21, 2014 02:09

eadric wrote:Alright then, rather than ruin Mr Holdsworth's thread, let's have it out on Guns!

Hey, eadric. Since I already ruined The Brewmaster's thread (inventor of the patent-pending Fizzbuster®, for a perfect creamy head on your microbrewed cask ale first pour, every pour) by going round and round with Sir Minnow on this, I might as well ruin this one, too, eh?
I think there's a few weak songs,

I can't put every Cardiacs album on repeat for whole day. I can Guns. Heaven Born has two songs I find tedious, Heaven and Helen and For Good and All. Hell, even On Land, which I've called my favorite Cardiacs album, has Leader of the Starry Skies which still sort of sets my teeth on edge, even though I like it much more now than I used to. Angelworm Angel likewise.

The weaker tunes on Guns, though, I find perfectly listenable.
Tim perhaps over-uses the tempo changes,

Please explain to everyone, eadric, how one can "over-use" tempo changes. To me, that's like accusing someone of overusing variety. Plus, tempo changes are hardwired into Cardiacs DNA.
and oddly it feels rather, well, straight for a Cardiacs record*.

It might "feel" that way (and there's a reason for that), but objectively it isn't if you scan out the song forms and look at the changes. But instead of subverting deeply unfashionable forms to begin with like old ska and prog, Tim's subverting Britpop and Beatle clonery, so it seems superficially more "straight." That is, until a chorus or a horn choir kicks you in the head.
Jitterbug is four minutes of vamping until that lunatic chord progression kicks in (yeah, I tabbed it out once).

Well, I'm glad you recognize the lunacy of that progression, but the first four minutes are anything but "vamping" considering there are about five or six discrete sections. I have said this before more than once, so maybe bold and italics might help this time: Jitterbug is a cross between Black Oak Arkansas and Relayer-era Yes. Those bass punches after the first break (which are different every time) are one of the prog-dangdest things Tim's ever written.
Signs,

One of my all-time favorite Cardiacs tunes. No less an avant-garde maven than Weasel Walter of The Flying Luttenbachers and Behold The Arctopus was made into a Cardiacs fan by it.
Song of a Dead Pest, etc...bit dull.

Dead Pest is deceptive. The chord and key changes in the second half are delicious.
* (I like to think of it as Sparks playing Heaven Born, that Sparks glam rock stomp is all over this)

"Glam rock stomp?" Really? Does glam rock stomp in 5/4 like Come Back Clammy Lammy, which is the only real stomp number on the album? (Could Sparks play in 5/4?) If you want to slag "stomp" in Cardiacs, you need to trash all that stompy ska on Seaside and Garage Concerts.

Oh, but most of that stuff is in all those twisty time signatures.

Indeed.

Listen. More. Closely.

Bob
Deconstructing conventional wisdom since the birth of punk

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snowman
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Re: Guns

Postby snowman » Fri Feb 21, 2014 13:10

Go Bob!

The reason it's my favourite Cardiacs album is that to me it features the fewest instances of predictable (and therefore not very exciting on first listen) musical material of the lot (and that's a totally subjective experience-over-time-based taste thang that can't be argued / argued against logically).

It's pretty well produced too :)

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Snardbafulator
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Re: Guns

Postby Snardbafulator » Fri Feb 21, 2014 14:03

snowman wrote:Go Bob!

My brutha, you've got to do me a solid and jump on the Holdsworth thread and share your love with all these peeps who think Allan's somehow tantamount to Yngwie Malmsteen :eeeek:
The reason it's my favourite Cardiacs album is that to me it features the fewest instances of predictable (and therefore not very exciting on first listen) musical material of the lot (and that's a totally subjective experience-over-time-based taste thang that can't be argued / argued against logically).

Well, I won't quibble with you about other records save to note in concurrence that we do have to contend, for example, with the inexplicably elongated second part of the otherwise excellent Wireless and there are no doubt other examples. I agree with you about Guns.
It's pretty well produced too :)

Well, I do agree with Sir Minnow to the extent that I think it's a victim of the Loudness Wars, but that's a post-production (mastering) issue. The quieter tunes I think have exquisite sound.

Bob
Deconstructing conventional wisdom since the birth of punk

andrewb
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Re: Guns

Postby andrewb » Fri Feb 21, 2014 14:05

i've changed my mind. i quite like it now

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Re: Guns

Postby Spyda » Fri Feb 21, 2014 18:46

Guns was a bit of a struggle and it took me quite a while to appreciate. Spell. . . just grated at first, and I could only listen to the occasional random track. I played the whole thing from start to finish one day and evrything just clicked into place, and now it's one of my favorites. And really well produced, but far too short
And if she only had stopped making that hissing noise . . .

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Re: Guns

Postby chaffinch » Tue Feb 25, 2014 21:24

I think Guns is extraordinary. It took me a while to 'get it' - I was a bit disappointed initially as it sounded relatively mainstream to me, a bit too 'streamlined' for want of a better word.

Spell has one of the most original melodies I've ever heard, I love the head-spinning bass line (particularly the chorus) on Cud, there's that Jitterbug coda, the perfect weird dark pop of Dead Pest & Clean That Evil Mud etc etc.

The only bit I don't care for is the outro of Will Bleed Amen, oddly cliched for Cardiacs I think.

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Snardbafulator
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Re: Guns

Postby Snardbafulator » Wed Feb 26, 2014 03:28

chaffinch wrote:I think Guns is extraordinary. It took me a while to 'get it' - I was a bit disappointed initially as it sounded relatively mainstream to me, a bit too 'streamlined' for want of a better word.

After I had discovered Sing to God and found some tunes utterly flooring, a friend gave me a tape with Heaven Born and Guns on it, warning me that these were a bit different, a bit poppier and lighter. Since I wasn't fully integrated into the Cardioverse at that time (I had yet to hear A Little Man, Ships and Irons and Seaside), I had less to compare them to, which may well explain my lack of disappointment at both of them. I found both of them sort of similar in aspect and fairly quickly decided that, although there were a few really excellent tunes on Heaven Born, that overall I preferred Guns. I saw it as developing some of the former's ideas, for instance the "progadelic" (for lack of a more descriptive word) bridge in Snakes A Sleeping is used again structurally in Jitterbug but much more highly developed. Clammy Lammy I thought was superior to the previous 5/4 rocker Day Is Gone. And some of the more quiet tunes just really have no parallel elsewhere, like Winds and Rains Is Cold, an all-time favorite (some liken it to a Sea Nymphs tune, but it's much more complex than, e.g., Blind in Safety).
Spell has one of the most original melodies I've ever heard,

I agree with you, but it's deceptively original. The actual notes in the verse are modal (only the white keys on the piano) and the melodic shape is solidly in a psychedelic rock idiom. But rhythmically it's bent, with strange pauses that seem to defy the time signature. The chorus, of course, is from another planet, suggesting in a truly bizarre way punk Michael Jackson.
I love the head-spinning bass line (particularly the chorus) on Cud,

Cud is classic Cardiacs pronk, a style variant they pretty much invented.
there's that Jitterbug coda,

I agree with some that it's repeated a few too many times, but it's so incredible.
the perfect weird dark pop of Dead Pest & Clean That Evil Mud etc etc.

I like both more than I should "on paper." They're stronger than the sums of their parts.
The only bit I don't care for is the outro of Will Bleed Amen, oddly cliched for Cardiacs I think.

That's actually a fairly typical trait of Tim's. Part of Tim's genius is his ability to combine highly striking chord changes with the ligature of straight rock 'n' roll. Tim loves him some I-VII -- the most common progression in all of rock -- and uses it (of course he often varies it with lydian suspensions, etc.) as a bridge in too many songs to name. That descending altered minor riff used as a bridge and outro in Will Bleed is also the riff for the guitar solo in Day Is Gone and it also shows up in the chorus of No Bright Side. These sorts of things I've grown accustomed to and don't hold it against Tim when you consider the tunes as totalities. Actually, I wish the album ended on that fadeout, as the hidden track (Secret Like Swans?) is maybe the only Cardiacs tune I consider completely useless. His voice is completely shot out on that one.

Incidentally, I think the Max Tundra / Sarah Measures take on Will Bleed Amen from Leader of the Starry Skies might well be the definitive version. It's my favorite from the tribute.

Bob
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mukmew
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Re: Guns

Postby mukmew » Wed Apr 02, 2014 03:36

chaffinch wrote:The only bit I don't care for is the outro of Will Bleed Amen, oddly cliched for Cardiacs I think.


Man, talk about difference of option! That's like my FAVORITE part of the WHOLE album. MAYBE even my FAVORITE cardiacs moment EVER!

psparky27

Re: Guns

Postby psparky27 » Fri Apr 04, 2014 18:48

Guns just doesnt have that special sound to it. Yes that special sound to me is the classic line up with out the four piece sound. Not going in to technicalities just on what i believe encapsulates the band at its most amazingness. I will listen to it once a month and unlike every born it didnt grow on me. This maybe to do with the fact i saw a lot of Cardiacs when HBaEB was new and their main material .

Just adding some balance . Nothing to do with not being a newer fan.

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drterror666
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Re: Guns

Postby drterror666 » Sat Apr 05, 2014 15:25

I just love every era of Cardiacs, including the one that created Guns.
Hello little doggy,
My, you are a nice dog,
What did you just say then?
You could do some tricks! Oh, good, then will you show me?
My word that's a good one!
Would you like a cigarette?
No you can't, they're bad for you!

Image

chaffinch
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Re: Guns

Postby chaffinch » Sat Apr 05, 2014 23:39

mukmew wrote:
chaffinch wrote:The only bit I don't care for is the outro of Will Bleed Amen, oddly cliched for Cardiacs I think.


Man, talk about difference of option! That's like my FAVORITE part of the WHOLE album. MAYBE even my FAVORITE cardiacs moment EVER!

That's really strange to me; one of the reasons I love Cardiacs is the unpredictability, just not knowing what's coming next in almost any given song. Even when you get to know everything intimately it can still pull the rug from under your feet. But that chord progression - I felt like I'd heard it a thousand times before.