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Clinic - Walking With Thee
Label: Universal
Release: 2002

Tracklisting:
Harmony
The Equaliser
Welcome
Walking with Thee
Pet Eunuch
Mr Moonlight
Come Into Our Room
The Vulture
The Bridge
Sunlight Bathes Our Home
For the Wars

Walking With Thee - Clinic
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Average Blamo User Rating: (3 votes)

I suspect that in everyone's highschool, hometown or wherever, there was always that kid that was just different from everyone else. Maybe it was his tendancy to quote Nietzsche; maybe it was his fondness for alien lore; or maybe it was just the creepy vibe you got when he looked at you. Imagine this scenario then: you're walking past that weird kid's house and you hear a sound emenating from his garage. Feeling brave you peek inside, and discover that he and some of his freaky friends have scraped together a garage band. I imagine that band would sound a lot like Clinic.

The sounds this much-hyped brit band has put onto this disc really defies any classification I can think of. The focal point is the nasal, somewhat off-kilter lead vocal, behind which, most of the tracks are driven by somewhat dancy percussion, from the four-on-the-floor rhythm of Come Into Our Room to the waltz tempo of For the Wars.

Guitars are a major figure on the record, of course (rare is the rock band that doesn't use the instrument), and they create some interesting textures that dive right from the straightforward garage blast of Pet Eunuch into the slimy slither of Mr Moonlight. Keyboards also play a large role; the title track relies on an aggressive fuzzy riff from one, and they add some nice ambience to the chiming buzz of Harmony. Harmonica, clarinet and melodica sounds (maybe keyboard effects, maybe not, I'm not sure) also flavour up a few tracks.

Lyrically...well, to be perfectly honest, the lyrics just don't stand out that much. They're neither here nor there, I guess.

So what's good about this approach and what's bad about it? Well, on the good side, Clinic sounds pretty much unlike any other band I could name. They show a healthy respect for '60s,'70s and even some '80s rock across the board, but the sound is something different enough to be interesting, at least to my ears. That counts for a lot.

On the downside, however, as interesting as it may be, there's really not THAT much variation on the album - the title track and Pet Eunuch are a bit more aggressive than the rest, but Harmony, Come into Our Room and Sunlight Bathes Our Home all sound like variations on the same theme. Plus, from what I hear, this album sounds almost exactly like their first, Internal Wrangler, where there was hope for some improvements on that albums flaws and variations in its sound.

So I guess if you can get past the one-trick-pony thing, this is definitely worth checking out. It at least captured my attention, and it's found its way into my CD player on quite a few impulse-grab occasions. That's saying something, I suppose.

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