January 25, 2007

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Clinic, Visitations
Domino Records, 2007

Very little gray area here: if you like the idea of Clinic in its base form you’ll sign right up, elsewise you’ll be holding out for whatever aspires to such greatness. Out of the gate (“Family”), you hear what amounts to Thom Yorke stammering angry gibberspeak while stumbling out the nuthouse exit in a Tornadoes tee shirt, convinced he’s the human embodiment of a 12-cylinder “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” – Ade Blackburn is serenading a god of something somewhere, but happily no one can understand a bloody thing he’s saying, so it’s definitely something positive. In “Animal/Human,” we find our blessed, surgical-masked limeys gathered around the campfire, banging tambourines and chanting outright now, and even when they shut down the autoharp and incidental skronk to go a capella the lyrics may as well be the phone book, although the word “tell” is clearly in there, which must mean something. It’s a record with the potential to create an army of boombox-carrying indie-goober Radio Raheems, each bopping around Greenwich Village replying to second-guessers with an impatient “But I don’t LIKE nuttin else.” Continuing in their waste-not want-not tradition, they’ve relegated themselves to the Middle East in Cambridge this tour, which will assuredly be a sardine can on March 10. AEric W. Saeger