Next to Spratleys Japs, The Sea Nymphs were the primary offshoot vehicle for Cardiacs' principal Tim Smith, here alongside fellow Cardiacs members Sarah Smith and William D. Drake. I stated in one of my previous posts of their tape material that I wanted to have Smith's baby, which should clue you to the degree of reverence I afford these cats (now horrifyingly laid low after he suffered a tragic and incapacitating stroke/heart attack combo last year). Alas, The Sea Nymphs received zilch in the way of distribution on this side of the pond and if anyone's madness deserves a wider airing, it's these resolute oddniks. All the Cardiacs' operatives, whether in solo mode or in these offshoot ensembles are deeply encoded with the DNA of the mothership, and The Sea Nymphs are no different. As was the case with Spratleys Japs, they dial back the histrionic stop/start cartoon pop/prog/punk aggression of The Cardiacs proper, though where Spratleys Japs light out for more structurally expansive and mellotron laden pastures, this is more off the compressed eccentric song form tip of Smith and Co.'s collective aesthetic, allowing the brilliance of his sui generis psychedelic song constructions to clearly reveal themselves, with sprightly sing song pop psych whimsy lacquered in a patina of syrupy grandiosity a mile deep and shot through with the visionary structural (il)logic that is the signature of this extended musical family.
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