Album reviews


Clinic Do It!A review of the album Do It! by Clinic

Review Snapshot:

Do It! sounds like an indie band who have gone on a bad trip and taken some vintage instruments with them, with the result that Clinic sound like a four-piece power rock group who have been placed behind a sheet of glass in the dungeon of some warped fairground (just listen to the Coda, with its vaudevillian nightmare intro). It works.

The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10

Full Review:
Although my first encounter with Clinic left a decidedly unfavourable impression on me, with 'Do It!', their fifth album, I finally get it. It’s a new sound creation, floating some way above accepted style and genre, and this is a well-made demonstration of that.

It is clear from opening track Memories, that Clinic’s strength do not necessarily lie with their songwriting, but their ability to create and work with sounds. Whichever side of the natural/raw vs. production debate you might stand, you just can’t deny that the studio has done Clinic a whole lot of good. Most songs on this album are undeniably decent chugging alt / art / punk / rock / folk / eh? tracks but with often uninteresting and/or indecipherable lyrics and frankly quite strange lines from all instruments, it’s their manipulation and combination of unusual and often vintage sounds that makes them stand out from the crowd: Clinic think like an electronic band but act like old-fashioned rockers. Each and every track sees a new mix, a new guitar setting, a different organ, a vocal drone, some deeply-buried harmonica or brass. Constantly changing panning, EQ. and mix settings make each of those sounds in each track a new and distinct event.

Clinic have restructured the musical hierarchy, removing melody from its top post and replacing it with rhythm and sound-world; harmony is still in there somewhere, although their ex-key chords make it a difficult thing to follow. Although they have mastered both subtlety and directness, it’s the former that permeates most of this album, particularly in their rhythm and barely discernible drum beats. Drum and instruments meld and progress in an organic and natural way, despite their unnatural and industrial overtones.

As an introduction to their music, 'Do It!' provides a solid base of the Clinic aesthetic; as the fifth in a line of albums, it, like its music, follows a steady path of progression which can only continue with the next.

Anna Murray

 To buy a new or (very reasonably priced) 2nd hand copy of this album on Amazon just click here.

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