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Do It! (Domino)

Wednesday, May 14 2008

Clinic's path back to form after a half-hearted detour with Winchester Cathedral finds the Liverpool art rockers leaning constructively toward late-'60s alchemy even more than they did on 2007's Visitations. Although the spastic riffs that curl around Do It!'s stompy garage ditties are as prominent as they were on last year's outing, opener "Memories" is crowded with spidery, one-string flashiness à la Sonics, while the verses are balanced with circus Wurlitzer-and-maracas waltzes. This switch-up trick characterizes "Free Not Free," which is angry at the onset but floats into tremolo guitars and hand drums behind singer Ade Blackburn's restrained delivery. Check the initially sparse "Mary and Eddie" for a blitz of unexpected freakouts that includes harp and a foghorn. Visitations packs a harder edge than Do It!, with a Sundazed re-press sting in the driver's seat, but Clinic exhibits a wealth of energy again on the latter, albeit more often cloaked in noisy psych-outs than fuzzbox havoc.

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Dominic Umile


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