13 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Clinic’s sixth album in a decade finds the Liverpudlians trading in some of their lysergic accoutrements for slightly easier, poppier stylings. As the title might imply, the songs here are lighter than Bubblegum’s psych-pop predecessors: opening track “I’m Aware” swirls and drifts with a gentler guitar sound and willowy strings, and others — like the sweet, sanguine “Baby” and the acoustic-flavored “Forever (Demis’ Blues)” — evoke ‘60s names like the Zombies and Donovan, rather than the Velvet Underground or the Seeds. Clinic do get their psych-groove on, however, with colorful guitar pin-wheeling, surreal clouds of dulcimer and chugging wha-wha on tracks like “Evelyn,” “Another Way of Giving,” and “Orangutan,” and they kick out the jams on harder tracks like “Lion Tamer.” Instead of writing songs based on a rhythm or a groove as they’ve done in the past, here the band began with specific melodies and chords; it’s that focus on the whole of a song that gives Bubblegum its delightful — but never sweet or cloying — vibe that recalls the magical days of AM radio.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Clinic’s sixth album in a decade finds the Liverpudlians trading in some of their lysergic accoutrements for slightly easier, poppier stylings. As the title might imply, the songs here are lighter than Bubblegum’s psych-pop predecessors: opening track “I’m Aware” swirls and drifts with a gentler guitar sound and willowy strings, and others — like the sweet, sanguine “Baby” and the acoustic-flavored “Forever (Demis’ Blues)” — evoke ‘60s names like the Zombies and Donovan, rather than the Velvet Underground or the Seeds. Clinic do get their psych-groove on, however, with colorful guitar pin-wheeling, surreal clouds of dulcimer and chugging wha-wha on tracks like “Evelyn,” “Another Way of Giving,” and “Orangutan,” and they kick out the jams on harder tracks like “Lion Tamer.” Instead of writing songs based on a rhythm or a groove as they’ve done in the past, here the band began with specific melodies and chords; it’s that focus on the whole of a song that gives Bubblegum its delightful — but never sweet or cloying — vibe that recalls the magical days of AM radio.

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2:52
3:59
2:59
2:43
3:12
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3:27
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About Clinic

Liverpool's art punk four-piece Clinic formed in 1997 out of the ashes of Ade Blackburn and Hartley's previous band, Pure Morning. The duo added Brian Campbell and Carl Turney to the fold and released the thrashy debut single "IPC Sub-Editors Dictate Our Youth" on the group's own Aladdin's Cave of Golf label; it reached number nine in John Peel's Festive 50 singles roundup that year. 1998 saw the release of equally well-received singles like "Cement Mixer" and "Monkey on My Back," which also showcased Clinic's blend of chugging, Velvet Underground-style guitars, icy, Suicide-esque keyboards and drum machines, and Blackburn's acidic, Lennon-esque vocals.

In 1999, the band signed to Domino Records and released "The Second Line," which was subsequently used in ads for Levi's Jeans in the U.K. Clinic began a flurry of activity in 2000, releasing their first album, Internal Wrangler, and the singles "The Return of Evil Bill" and "Distortions." That summer, they appeared at Scott Walker's Meltdown and All Tomorrow's Parties festivals and toured with Radiohead. The following year, the group returned to the studio and Internal Wrangler was released domestically in the U.S. In early 2002, Clinic resurfaced with their second full-length, Walking with Thee, which provided a more spacious, atmospheric take on the group's sound. That spring, the band launched a full-fledged tour of the States.

Two years later, Clinic embarked on a tour of the U.S. before the release of their third album, Winchester Cathedral, and another tour after its arrival. The band reunited with Gareth Jones, who mixed Internal Wrangler, for Visitations, a rawer effort that harked back to Clinic's early days. Visitations was released in late 2006 in the U.K. and early in 2007 in the U.S. Early in 2008, the band released the single "Free Not Free" as a free download; the full-length Do It!, which took a more streamlined approach than Visitations, surfaced that spring. For 2010's Bubblegum, the band went in a gentler, chamber pop-inspired direction. Clinic self-produced their next album, 2012's psychedelic Free Reign, enlisting Oneohtrix Point Never's Daniel Lopatin to mix certain songs and issuing one version of the album as a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee with a download code for the music. ~ Heather Phares

  • ORIGIN
    Liverpool, Lancashire, England
  • GENRE
    Alternative
  • FORMED
    1997

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