21 June 1999
Guns is the fifth and final studio album by Cardiacs. It was recorded and mixed at Apollo 8 in London and released in 1999. After a brief period of unavailability, the album was re-pressed in August 2007.
Compared to other Cardiacs releases, Guns is often considered to be the band's most accessible album. A reviewer for Echoes and Dust describes the album as "Rock’n’Roll with more than a touch of the baroque" and as having "a very intimate feel." The musical style present on Guns has been compared to the music of Spratleys Japs, a side project that features Cardiacs band leader Tim Smith and Guns guest vocalist Joanne Spratley.
Despite being considered relatively accessible for Cardiacs, a few tracks on Guns are among the most intricate compositions that the band released. For example, the end of the fifth track, "Jitterbug (junior is a)," had Tim Smith using several pieces of paper in order to keep track of his ideas instead of his self-imposed limit of one. According to Tim Smith, "I used to score it all out on reams and reams of paper like a twat, but nowadays I limit myself to one bit of paper just as reminders (as my memory is crap). Although one song on the ‘Guns’ album had me doing the ‘reams and reams of paper’ thing, it had to be done, there was no other way. I sat there for 36 hours solid and didn’t stop until it sort of brought itself to its end and when I looked back at it I wondered where the fuck it had come from because I couldn’t remember doing it."
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