THE CARDIACS – “Archive Cardiacs (1980)

Have I finally found a name to put to the hard-to-define music I have loved for so many years? Is that word…ZOLO?!

Somehow I stumbled across this Zolo manifesto, price written by college radio DJ Terry Sharkie, which attempts to quantify and qualify the weirdness factor of the weird musics that my weird ass (and so many other weird asses across the underground music globe) gets such a thrill from.

Zolo seems to encompass several different established genres, like post-punk, prog and R.I.O. (rock in opposition), and I think I’m comfortable with Zolo as an umbrella term, upon reflection. I’m still not 100% sold, but I’ll probably get used to it.

I managed to find that Zolo manifesto above, when trying to find out more about The Cardiacs, a British band whom I’ve recently taken a solid liking to, with their brand of punk-meets-prog tickling my tongue and smacking my soundholes nice and neat.

The Cardiacs – “Archive Cardiacs” (ZIP file)

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752 Responses to THE CARDIACS

  1. Ian says:

    Thanks as always, sir. Not sure how I feel about “Zolo”. . . have to think on it : ) I’m often tried to figure out what the common thread is to all the seemingly disparate music I (and many other hardcore music geeks) like, and tried to name it. . . but at this point I think I’ve given up. Maybe those of us who listen to music not as part of a social scene or being “where it’s at,” we plunderers of the wide world of the past rather than the narrow edge of today, just have different priorities than most people. I dunno.

  2. hamo says:

    looking back at my long long list of bookmarks i stumbled on this: a few minutes or a day after i bookmarked your wonderful eggcity. i believe zolo to be that thing we all do alone in our bedroom, speaking into microphones and laughing our asses off before an “adult” tells us to grow up…

  3. Shoegeezer says:

    More of this please, Cardiacs were one of my favourite bands way back when, always a great live show. Best one I saw them do was at Reading Festival when it was still a heavy metal and rock bash. Cardiacs came on first thing Sunday morning and confused the hell out of the hungover rockers with their music as well as a stage show that involved their scary makeup and even a section where they held an awards ceremony for themselves.
    Their website, which also sold their CDs, has been resting since lead singer Tim suffered a heart attack (at a My Bloody Valentine gig so I hear). Get well soon Tim, I want to buy some of your cds!
    On an unrelated note, can someone please get the Sleepover Kids Devo side project album on here.

  4. schlep says:

    I would recommend seeking out “On Land and In the Sea”, “Songs for Ships and Irons” and the curiously titled “Greatest Hits”. The 1990 concert film “All That Glitters Is a Mares Nest” is absolutely amazing and essential – due for rerelease in the near future. I envy you being at the beginning of discovering this magnificent beast.
    Cardiacs are so much more than that “zolo” bullshit =- (somebody’s misguided attempt to insert their own little master thesis into music writing)

    According to the lastest update from, the website and shop will be back in action soon. Wayside distributing also might have some of their cds.

  5. bebopkid says:

    Zolo!? This is great! I’ve been trying to find this type of stuff, but gave up because I had no clue what it was called (or even if a genre existed). Thanks to hamo for the great blog — I’ve been trying to find those dino-looking people cartoons as well. Best find on eggcity yet (plus Von LMO!)!

  6. moikes says:

    One thing – I suspect that track 1 is riddled with encoding artifacts. Can you confirm that?

    As always, a pleasure being here.

  7. leha says:

    Up until now I had always thought ZOLO was a word made up by my cooky friend Sam, who evidently embodies all things zolo. This is the only link I have that is just about him, not sure if he updates this anymore, but the photos are hillarious.

    Thanks so much for bringing this word to light for me, and putting the time and effort into your blog archive! I have been a big fan and follower for years now.

  8. Molecules says:

    ah great, i’ve been curious about Cardiacs for a while after encountering a rabid fan online once armed with several mp3s. I have to say this ‘Zolo’ definition seems initially unnecessary in the face of journalistic genre wordgames (which can be fun – proto-prog-fusion-beat anyone?) and silly hyperbole (‘like being serenaded by an inebriated Carson family on a treacle-covered fun slide, on smack, during the blitz’ etc); but it definitely puts a word to a few gaps upon reading the manifesto… Nice place you have here btw, I was intrigued by high praise in one of the comments on ‘Zamboni’

  9. Molecules says:

    had to return for an update i’m afraid: $%^&”£^!! These guys are amazing! If I could indulge in the aforementioned hyperbowl, they’re like the Chrysanthemums on speed. you’ve opened a pandora’s box for this particular music fan..

  10. fatty jubbo says:

    If you haven’t seen them yet, the early Cardiacs videos are amazing.
    and here’s them recently revisiting the early material:

  11. Rich says:

    I’ve never heard the term ZOLO, but am amazed at the comprehensiveness of the grouping. I remember hearing music in this era and have always tried to find a way to describe/classify it.
    There were a couple of DJs who used to play all this stuff in the early eighties on my local community radio station – indeed, these are the guys who made me want to DJ in the first place. That ZOLO manifesto reads like their playlist over the span of their show. I have been compiling mixes over the years that were an attempt to recreate the feel of their show and am thinking of devoting a show – or perhaps two – to it.

  12. Mr X says:

    Good posting Bret but please refer to the band as Cardiacs not The Cardiacs. Pleased to see none of the commentators made the same mistake.
    Some later songs from this great band can be heard on
    Also Mutant Sounds recently uploaded Tim Smith and fellow Cardiacs members Sarah Smith and William D. Drake’s offshoot album “The Sea Nymphs”. Very different to Cardiacs but quite beautiful. Listen to it and weep.