Album: Clinic

Winchester Cathedral, DOMINO
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The Independent Culture

Though not as attuned to pop imperatives as The Coral or The Zutons, Clinic are at least as inventive as their fellow Liverpudlian combos when picking through the musical detritus of earlier rock eras and using long-forgotten riffs, tones and textures in new tunes. The 12 tracks of Winchester Cathedral are the musical equivalent of driftwood sculptures, whose parts have a patina that speaks of age and familiarity. That tack-piano chording on "Circle of Fifths" recalls the Stones of "Let's Spend the Night Together"; the guitar on "Anne" brings to mind Lee Underwood; and the spiky guitars and galumphing drums of "Vertical Take Off in Egypt" have the astringent charm of Beefheart's Magic Band - but all are placed in fresh contexts, sharing space with the band's distinctive clarinet, organ and melodica parts and Ade Blackburn's furtive vocals. The results are by turns haunting ("Home"), urgently wistful ("Thank You (for Living)"), or like a kind of mutant Mid-Eastern punk-rock ("The Magician"). "Au

Though not as attuned to pop imperatives as The Coral or The Zutons, Clinic are at least as inventive as their fellow Liverpudlian combos when picking through the musical detritus of earlier rock eras and using long-forgotten riffs, tones and textures in new tunes. The 12 tracks of Winchester Cathedral are the musical equivalent of driftwood sculptures, whose parts have a patina that speaks of age and familiarity. That tack-piano chording on "Circle of Fifths" recalls the Stones of "Let's Spend the Night Together"; the guitar on "Anne" brings to mind Lee Underwood; and the spiky guitars and galumphing drums of "Vertical Take Off in Egypt" have the astringent charm of Beefheart's Magic Band - but all are placed in fresh contexts, sharing space with the band's distinctive clarinet, organ and melodica parts and Ade Blackburn's furtive vocals. The results are by turns haunting ("Home"), urgently wistful ("Thank You (for Living)"), or like a kind of mutant Mid-Eastern punk-rock ("The Magician"). "August" is a Frankenstein oddity of noodling clarinet, waltz-time piano monochord and fuzzbox effects. The band call it a "Klezmer-surf waltz", a description unlikely to be bettered. Like the band, it's number one in a field of one.

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