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Alternative & Indie - Released May 10, 2019 | Domino Recording Co

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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

Pop/Rock - Released February 4, 2007 | Domino Recording Co

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Issued in early 2007, IF YOU COULD READ YOUR MIND shines the spotlight on the title track of Clinic's fourth studio record, VISITATIONS. While the non-album songs will be the main draw for ardent fans of the Liverpool-based indie-rock band, "If You Could Read Your Mind" presents the surgical-mask-wearing group at its urgent and brooding best, with surf-rock guitar lines winding around a rattlesnake rhythm and frontman Ade Blackburn's tense vocals. Although the hipster buzz about Clinic had long faded by the time of this release, it proves that the British ensemble remains capable of arresting and edgy rock.

Alternative & Indie - Released March 4, 2013 | Domino Recording Co

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Though Clinic have made subtle yet noticeable changes to their sound on every album, the foundations of their music are so consistent -- chugging rhythms, an air of mystery -- that they get a somewhat unfair reputation for being samey. While nothing may change that reputation this far into their career, Free Reign offers more proof that they can take their fundamentals in any direction they choose. Where their last album, Bubblegum, touched on virtually every kind of song they've attempted and gave it all a pop twist, on Free Reign they hone in with nine lengthy excursions into their psychedelic side. Psychedelic in the broadest sense of the term, that is, with expansive, stream-of-consciousness songs that let Clinic explore several ideas over the course of a track. The album opener "Misty" spans darkly shimmering keyboards, a surfy guitar line, and a passage that suggests what Echo & the Bunnymen might have sounded like had they preferred organ to guitars, all without sounding forced or jumbled. Throughout Free Reign, the band revels in unabashedly trippy sounds, whether it's "See Saw"'s churning acid rock -- marking one of the few times the album's pulse rises above a mellow groove -- or "Cosmic Radiation"'s jazzy drum work and dubby basslines. The band's newfound expansiveness not only gives the album a dream-like flow, it also emphasizes Clinic's overlooked romantic/sensual side, from "For the Season"'s warmth and vulnerability to the hypnotic insistence of mantra-like lyrics such as "the touch of your skin/keeps me alive" on the album closer "Sun and the Moon." Ade Blackburn and company recruited Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never, Ford & Lopatin, and other inventive electronic projects to mix two of Free Reign's most lysergic tracks, and they're both standouts: "Miss You" is a song about salvation through LSD, and its tendril-like bassline pulls listeners into a journey that begins intimately but reaches for infinity by its end; by comparison, "You"'s relentless chug seems almost pedestrian, but its subtle detours and field-recording bookends make it a trip within a trip. Despite the length of each of its tracks, Free Reign is a fairly concise album, which makes it all the better for trance-inducing repeated listening. Another fine example of how versatile this band actually is. ~ Heather Phares
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 5, 2019 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 31, 1999 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 10, 2000 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 8, 2019 | Domino Recording Co

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Techno - Released February 28, 2019 | Three Hands Records

Techno - Released July 12, 2018 | Neurotics Recordings

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Techno - Released April 12, 2019 | Neurotics Recordings

Alternative & Indie - Released January 4, 2000 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 13, 2002 | Domino Recording Co

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Pop/Rock - Released March 23, 2008 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 22, 2004 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 12, 2004 | Domino Recording Co

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