What’s in a song?: Cardiacs – There’s Too Many Irons In The Fire

When I first got into Bowie he went and took a decade long sabbatical. When I first got into Faith No More they broke up. Now, once again, I’m late to the party. Cardiacs will likely never play live again due to health reasons and that makes me crushingly sad. I want to pogo to off-kilter psychedelic pop (or punk) and sing along at the terrace anthems. Oh well, you can’t have everything else nothing would have any meaning. We’ve got to give our experiences meaning to save us becoming cultural sheep, constantly running after the next popular totem purely because everybody else does. Got to tack into the wind regardless of consequences. Got to find our own space and inhabit it fully. If we can do it with fairground organs in the background, then all the better!

Real talk; I rather surprisingly had one of my songs championed on Radio 6 last week, it got played a number of times and even got a few people to engage with me on the social media. Very cool. Though amongst the good wishes was a tweet comparing me to Cardiacs, a band I’d never crossed before (by dint of being thoroughly uncool). Now I find myself slightly cooler having fallen for the very, very dense songwriting of Tim Smith; equal parts baroque chamber music, equal parts aggressive pop, all parts good.

So why this song? I don’t even feel I need to put it into words. It is self sustaining and exists for no reason other than to explode imagery over your head as confetti. Many a music journalist will mention the woven influences and discord anarchy and try and raise it on some pedestal or other. They’ll either rip the band down for being arrogantly unlistenable or hold them as avant-garde visionaries. They’ll mention instrumentation and time signatures and surrealism and miss the point completely. Music journalism so often gets it wrong by talking about the music as opposed to how the music made them feel. This song makes me feel unbreakable. I have it on repeat because each successive listen pushes my energy levels beyond what I thought possible. There is nothing more to say. There’s nothing I can say without stripping it of the magic. The punk spirit can’t really be put into words.


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