Clinic: Visitations (Domino/EMI)

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Clinic: Animal/Human
Clinic: Visitations (Domino/EMI)

Rock albums come and go around my place -- but this one, like the new Arcade Fire and the Kings of Leon album -- has just clung on: it is dense, the singer sounds like he is seething with barely repressed anger, the guitar are gravelly, there is something of The Fall and Pere Ubu about them, and the multi-layered songs are often underpinned with restless and driving rhythms. And I knew nothing about Clinic before I put this on.

Turns out they are from Liverpool, this is their fourth album, Scott Walker picked them for the Meltdown Festival he curated, their second album was nominated for a Grammy, they have toured with Radiohead, they play sometimes wearing operating theatre gowns . . .

I am now wondering where they have been all my life. I am loving its brittle intensity, urgency, slamming trebly surf-like guitars, and their sense of drama.

It isn't all fast-forward momentum: Tusk is a moody and drifting piece (admittedly with with eerie lyrics); the gothic and tense Jigsaw Man sounds like it will explode at any moment but astutely resists the temptation; and The New Seeker almost sounds like radio-pop song (if the station broadcasts from the basement of oil refinery to industrial workers wielding sledge-hammers).

I really have no idea what to make of them, but that hasn't stopped me having this on repeat play at wonderfully high volume.

It'll blow the cobwebs away, that's for sure.

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