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    Most Popular Songs (more)

    Equalizer lyrics
    2Earth Angel lyrics
    3Pet Eunuch lyrics
    4Walking With Thee lyrics
    5The Bridge lyrics
    6Anne lyrics
    7Thank You (For Living) lyrics
    8Harmony lyrics
    9The Witch lyrics
    10Magician lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1Internal Wrangler [2001]
    2Winchester Cathedral [2004]
    3Bubblegum [2010]
    4Walking With Thee [2002]
    5Do It! [2008]
    6Free Reign [2012]
    7Clinic - 3 Eps [2002]
    8Visitations [2007]
    9Funf [2008]


    Donning surgical masks in concert, Clinic takes a back-to-the-lab approach to postpunk. On its first album, Internal Wrangler, the Liverpudlian group mixes and mismatches the styles of krautrock, the Fall, U.S.-servicemen-turned-bizarro-beat-group the Monks, reggae dub, and Pere Ubu into tracks made out of ambling rhythms that are both shambling and hypnotic. The song "Internal Wrangler" is Roky Erickson's 13th Floor Elevators reinterpreted by a surf band, and "DJ Shangri-La" is a hilarious 58-second parody of every self-important mixmaster from Rza to Shadow. Clinic has more than a little in common with Scotland's Beta Band. They both will steal whatever is lying around and reconfigure it for optimum aesthetic pleasure no matter how little sense is made, or whether words come out wrong or are made up on the fly. The group's core setup of garage organ, muddy bass, overmiked drum beats, weedy free-associative singing, melodica, and sloppy postpunk guitar leaves plenty of room for experimentation. This is great news for lovers of adventurous stereo trickery. For the straight and narrow fan of alt rock, Clinic will probably be met with raised eyebrows and the universal gesture for the smoking of intoxicating substances.

    To say that the followup, Walking With Thee, is a more polished album than Internal Wrangler is to say that it sounds like it took the musicians longer than half an hour to record it and that they spent more than a dollar on the process. The basic elements are the same, but there is an opening up and airiness to the tracks that give them a less unfinished feeling. There is a wholeness and consummation of intent. With a band like Clinic you wouldn't want anything too slick, or it would lose that element of risk that makes the best songs sound so vital. Nonetheless, it's telling that the first line on the opening track, "Harmony," is "I believe in harmony." All the instrumentation on Walking With Thee fits together naturally. This results in a quieter record with fewer sudden shifts or disorienting tonal juxtapositions. In the end, sound and technique end up taking a backseat anyway, because the songs are so damn good, a string of memorable melodies and vocal tics. Less bombastic or self-consciously weighty than a Radiohead, Clinic uses rock to push against warmth and groove to create beautiful noises that are not only fun but fun to think about. A collection of earlier EPs is recommended to fans who want their Clinic uncut, unhinged, and decidedly unclean.

    Winchester Cathedral strikes a bit closer to the debut's Radiohead-on-benzedrine feel, but much of the time it sounds like the band members are just playing around with their noisemakers and not having much fun. Although "The Magician" and the guitar-driven "WDYYB" get by on typically high-strung grooves, atmospheric slow-burners such as "Home" and "Falstaff" sacrifice oddball charm for dull moodiness. Ade Blackburn's half-intelligible slur renders the songs more annoying than memorable, and Winchester Cathedral proves Clinic has finally succumbed to that which Internal Wrangler fended off so well: art rock. (SCOTT SEWARD)

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