April 17, 2008

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Clinic, Do It!
Domino Records, April 8
An opening slot for Arcade Fire’s recent Euro-tour didn’t sway Clinic from their irresistible eccentricities but instead put a bigger, more cartoonish voodoo-bug in their ear. The new depths of dissonance are to this album’s detriment only if you were rooting for the band’s finally going from bridesmaid to bride, but they’re devoutly indie to the end, a Black Sabbath to Arcade Fire’s Zep.

Clinic is now well-settled into working out of their own studio, where their bizarre collection of antique keyboards is unpacked, all pieces ready to use. If you’ve been missing Iron Butterfly, “High Coin” feeds the need, and the blaring Titanic steamer-horn in “Mary and Eddie” adds brilliant drabness to the band’s hippy-beach-bonfire guitars, the Jesus & Mary Chain vibe they’ve aspired to and surpassed. Unfortunately, no amount of wizzer organic hocus-pocus can cover up the band’s lack of melodic growth, exemplified most dramatically by “Winged Wheel,” a phoned-in copycat of “Gideon” from last year’s Visitations LP. All know-it-alling aside, however, fans of Raveonettes, BRMC and all their fuzzy brethren will get a lot out of any Clinic record, even this one. B-Eric W. Saeger