Clinic Wheeltappers and Shunters

Wheeltappers and Shunters

Clinic

Released on May 10, 2019 by Domino Recording Co

Main artist: Clinic

Genre: Pop/Rock > Rock > Alternative & Indie

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Clinic have always had one dial of their time machine pointed towards the past and one towards the future. On Wheeltappers and Shunters, they return from an unprecedented seven-year hiatus to bring these impulses together in ways that are surprisingly relevant to the time of the album's release. Taking inspiration from cultural artifacts like The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club -- a variety show about a gentlemen's social club that aired on ITV in the '70s -- Clinic use their unparalleled skills at reimagining vintage sounds to skewer the regressive politics of the late 2010s. These rickety, hallucinatory songs serve as reminders that the past was far from perfect, but they're also a lot of fun. Of course, Clinic's version of fun has more than a little danger mixed in, and Wheeltappers is full of seemingly upbeat songs laced with ominous undercurrents. The album's first few tracks are as direct as this notoriously cryptic band can be: "Laughing Cavalier" begins with a ringing bell straight from The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club before transporting listeners into a seedy '70s funfair with an extra dose of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's menacing whimsy. On "Complex," Clinic conjures up an imaginary past of "the good old days/the good old ways" with spiraling autoharps and clarinets that lurk in its shadows. The band juggles the album's sounds and themes most impressively on "Rubber Bullets." From its title to its smirking keyboard and bass line, it hints that its mischief isn't exactly harmless as Ade Blackburn's lyrics shift from meaningless promises ("the best is yet to come") to authoritarian statements ("keep in line"). Later on, Wheeltappers and Shunters showcases Clinic's mastery of illusions. "New Equations at the Copacabana," a haunted ballad arranged for harp, theremin, and typewriter, is deeply strange even by their standards; on the slinky "Congratulations" and dub-informed "Mirage," they exploit their ironically seductive side for all it's worth. At just 30 minutes long, Wheeltappers' concentrated eccentricity feels like an equal and opposite reaction to the expansive mantras of Free Reign (and upholds Clinic's tradition of approaching their music from a notably different angle than their previous album), especially since the past the band revisits includes their own. The garage rock/exotica fusion of "Rejoice!" recalls Do It!, while "Be Yourself/Year of the Sadist" is the kind of mournful oddity at which they've always excelled. For all its thematic focus and political commentary, Wheeltappers and Shunters is quintessentially Clinic; at once pointed and oblique, its bad trips and cheap thrills are a subversive rebuke to a sanitized notion of the past, present, or future. ~ Heather Phares
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Album : 1 disk - 12 tracks Total length : 00:26:26

  1. 1 Laughing Cavalier

    Jonathan Hartley, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Clinic, MainArtist - Domino Publishing Company Ltd, MusicPublisher - Ade Blackburn, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Dillip Harris, Mixer Copyright : 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd

  2. 2 Complex

    Jonathan Hartley, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Clinic, MainArtist - Domino Publishing Company Ltd, MusicPublisher - Ade Blackburn, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Dillip Harris, Mixer Copyright : 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd

  3. 3 Rubber Bullets

    Jonathan Hartley, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Clinic, MainArtist - Domino Publishing Company Ltd, MusicPublisher - Ade Blackburn, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Dillip Harris, Mixer Copyright : 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd

  4. 4 Tiger

    Jonathan Hartley, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Clinic, MainArtist - Domino Publishing Company Ltd, MusicPublisher - Ade Blackburn, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Dillip Harris, Mixer Copyright : 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd

  5. 5 Ferryboat of the Mind

    Jonathan Hartley, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Clinic, MainArtist - Domino Publishing Company Ltd, MusicPublisher - Ade Blackburn, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Dillip Harris, Mixer Copyright : 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd

  6. 6 Mirage

    Jonathan Hartley, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Clinic, MainArtist - Domino Publishing Company Ltd, MusicPublisher - Ade Blackburn, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Dillip Harris, Mixer Copyright : 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd

  7. 7 D.I.S.C.I.P.L.E

    Jonathan Hartley, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Clinic, MainArtist - Domino Publishing Company Ltd, MusicPublisher - Ade Blackburn, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Dillip Harris, Mixer Copyright : 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd

  8. 8 Flying Fish

    Jonathan Hartley, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Clinic, MainArtist - Domino Publishing Company Ltd, MusicPublisher - Ade Blackburn, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Dillip Harris, Mixer Copyright : 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd

  9. 9 Be Yourself/Year of the Sadist

    Jonathan Hartley, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Clinic, MainArtist - Domino Publishing Company Ltd, MusicPublisher - Ade Blackburn, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Dillip Harris, Mixer Copyright : 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd

  10. 10 Congratulations

    Jonathan Hartley, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Clinic, MainArtist - Domino Publishing Company Ltd, MusicPublisher - Ade Blackburn, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Dillip Harris, Mixer Copyright : 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd

  11. 11 Rejoice!

    Jonathan Hartley, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Clinic, MainArtist - Domino Publishing Company Ltd, MusicPublisher - Ade Blackburn, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Dillip Harris, Mixer Copyright : 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd

  12. 12 New Equations (at the Copacabana)

    Jonathan Hartley, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Clinic, MainArtist - Domino Publishing Company Ltd, MusicPublisher - Ade Blackburn, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Dillip Harris, Mixer Copyright : 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd 2019 Domino Recording Co Ltd

  • Album description
  • Clinic have always had one dial of their time machine pointed towards the past and one towards the future. On Wheeltappers and Shunters, they return from an unprecedented seven-year hiatus to bring these impulses together in ways that are surprisingly relevant to the time of the album's release. Taking inspiration from cultural artifacts like The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club -- a variety show about a gentlemen's social club that aired on ITV in the '70s -- Clinic use their unparalleled skills at reimagining vintage sounds to skewer the regressive politics of the late 2010s. These rickety, hallucinatory songs serve as reminders that the past was far from perfect, but they're also a lot of fun. Of course, Clinic's version of fun has more than a little danger mixed in, and Wheeltappers is full of seemingly upbeat songs laced with ominous undercurrents. The album's first few tracks are as direct as this notoriously cryptic band can be: "Laughing Cavalier" begins with a ringing bell straight from The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club before transporting listeners into a seedy '70s funfair with an extra dose of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's menacing whimsy. On "Complex," Clinic conjures up an imaginary past of "the good old days/the good old ways" with spiraling autoharps and clarinets that lurk in its shadows. The band juggles the album's sounds and themes most impressively on "Rubber Bullets." From its title to its smirking keyboard and bass line, it hints that its mischief isn't exactly harmless as Ade Blackburn's lyrics shift from meaningless promises ("the best is yet to come") to authoritarian statements ("keep in line"). Later on, Wheeltappers and Shunters showcases Clinic's mastery of illusions. "New Equations at the Copacabana," a haunted ballad arranged for harp, theremin, and typewriter, is deeply strange even by their standards; on the slinky "Congratulations" and dub-informed "Mirage," they exploit their ironically seductive side for all it's worth. At just 30 minutes long, Wheeltappers' concentrated eccentricity feels like an equal and opposite reaction to the expansive mantras of Free Reign (and upholds Clinic's tradition of approaching their music from a notably different angle than their previous album), especially since the past the band revisits includes their own. The garage rock/exotica fusion of "Rejoice!" recalls Do It!, while "Be Yourself/Year of the Sadist" is the kind of mournful oddity at which they've always excelled. For all its thematic focus and political commentary, Wheeltappers and Shunters is quintessentially Clinic; at once pointed and oblique, its bad trips and cheap thrills are a subversive rebuke to a sanitized notion of the past, present, or future. ~ Heather Phares

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Domino Recording Co

In 1997 Domino released Pavement's landmark commercial breakthrough Brighten The Corners which was followed a year later by Elliot Smith's Either/Or  and in 1999 the debut album by Will Oldham as Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - I See Darkness: a series of albums that confirmed the label's reputation as the preeminent European home of American music. Bell's desire to work with British bands as innovative and singular as his American artists reached fruition in the late nineties with the signings of Four Tet, Clinic, James Yorkston and The Kills.    All were acts with a distinct identity that established Domino as a label interested in creativity rather than in any particular ...

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