Scouse art noise terrorists return with an oblique but rewarding sixth album...
Daryl Easlea 2007-06-13
If you asked the man on the Todmorden tram about Clinic, he may know that they scored a minor hit in 2000 after Levi’s used their “The Second Line” in one of their jeans ads, they wear surgical masks on stage and that they were among John Peel’s favourites. What is hard to believe is that the Liverpudlian noise-terrorists™ who ‘ignore the tenets and trends of the music industry’ have been going now for over a decade. To tie in with their appearance supporting Roky Erickson at Jarvis Cocker’s Meltdown on London’s South Bank, they’ve given us this succinct appraisal of their other side: 30 minutes of twisted wonder, a collection of their odds and sods.
The minor blues of “Christmas” (my current favourite tune, in the world, ever), complete with its melodica nod to Irving Berlin’s “Cheek To Cheek” – the B side of “Come Into Our Room” and the stinking loud feedback drenched “The Majestic” – from the back of “The Return Of Evil Bill” are as illustrative as you are going to get from a group who come up with something different every time. Melody, invention and noise are all here. When beats and samples kick in, say on the Dusty Springfield-“Spooky” sampling “Lee Shan”, it demonstrates how the group, blessed with all their restless art, could be if they wished to follow some straight commercial course. Approach with an open mind and receive great pleasure in return.