Clinic - Walking With Thee

Slipknot beware. The metal mayhem sweeping the nation aren't the only band who hide behind masks. Obviously Clinic don't go to extreme lengths like dressing up as ever so scary clowns. No, they used to wear surgical masks when they played live back in the early days. Do you get it? Clinic, masks. Oh please yourself!!!!  The weird thing is you will have heard Clinic either on a jeans advertisement or seen them supporting Radiohead, but can you name any of them or recognize their faces? Thought not and there's my point. Clinic have no personality, identity or profile. They want to be mysterious and elusive, but to me that comes across as aloof, unfriendly and a bit unnecessary.

Anyway the band have released their second album "Walking With Thee" and its a bit dreary. Musically they have to be applauded for approaching their craft in an original way. Ade Blackburn who sings, plays guitar and keyboards is talented, but his songs don't grab me on an emotional, intellectual or melodic level. "Harmony" is actually really god. Despite the whiny vocals the track begins with an atmospheric vibe and has an eerie quality which is quite un-nerving. The mouth organ synth hook has a melancholic feel of John Barrys "Midnight Cowboy" and the lyrics sound sinister. Alas one good song does not make a good album.

"Welcome" is full of jaunty guitars and for Clinic is the closest they get to sounding upbeat (in an indie sort of way) but to be honest its unremarkable. "Pet Eunuch" is a bit of a Stooges type punk thrasher of a song and in certain parts reminded me of early Fall. Another moody journey into the dark and seedy side of life is "The Bridge" which is quelle surprise moody yet strangely uptempo.

As a follow up to their debut "Internal Wrangler" Clinic's second album will be welcomed with open arms by their dedicated army of fans. As much as I admire and appreciate what they are creating in their music, I find it too detached and affected to really enjoy.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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