Monday, December 22, 2008
The Best Albums Of 2008 #3
Over the course of five albums and a handful of EP’s, Liverpool’s Clinic have made about a decade’s worth of weird and underappreciated music. They’re a quartet more noted for their predilection for surgical scrubs on stage than their music, which is a shame. The band has mastered an unusual blend of genres, from rockabilly to folk to krautrock, and continues to refine that sound every album. Singer Ade Blackburn has a whiny voice reminiscent of Thom Yorke, and is nearly as unintelligible. But unlike Yorke’s Radiohead, Clinic seems content to do one sound just right. Believe it or not, the band benefits from this approach.
There’s little on 2008’s Do It! to differentiate it from any of Clinic’s prior works. If you’ve heard any Clinic record, you’ve heard them all. What’s interesting about them is this: If you were to recommend any Clinic record to a newbie, this would be the record. Just as whatever their next record winds up being would be the record to recommend. Every new Clinic record is the same as the one before it, but it’s tighter. It’s better written. It’s fresher, even if it’s basically the same thing at its heart. So, Do It! is this year’s model. It’ll be interesting to see how much longer Clinic can keep improving on the same formula.