Cardia is an all-star band of sorts, featuring members of Rival Schools, Shudder to Think and The Verve Pipe. Their sound leans way towards the Shudder to Think side of the spectrum, making for a rather angular, swaggery and almost operatic album that is an enjoyable listen.
To be honest, though, comparisons to other operatic crooners of rock, including Thom York, Bono, Jeff Buckley and Chris Cornell, will beg to be made. Lead vocalist Ian Love throws his voice all over the place, at times sounding like each of the aforementioned vocalists. He has a very lovely voice, but there are several places on Cardia where he’s just too over the top, and the shrillness of his voice becomes somewhat painful (especially when he hits the painful “Cornell” note that that guy hits in most of his songs). The band is the star of Cardia, playing lots of lovely guitar lines drenched with reverb and delay, very reminiscent of mid-1990s Radiohead. The drums seem to take the occasional cue from Radiohead, this being most evident on “Crash,” “Stars” and “Love Loss.” Plagiarism aside, the sound they make is really cool, and fans of any of the bands I’ve mentioned thus far will at least kind of like this record.
Being a huge Shudder to Think and Craig Wedren fan, I can fully appreciate how flamboyant and over the top Ian Love is; I really like the way he carries himself and uses his voice as a compliment to the guitars, that is until he loses control of himself. When he reaches for the really high notes, he totally ruins the saucy vibe of Cardia, and I end up feeling confused after his painful caterwauls stop. Maybe he can tame things down a bit for the next record. Take it for what it is, though: arty, angular, melodic and actually quite fun.
Silverthree Sound Recordings: http://www.silverthree.com/