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|1. I'm Aware|
|4. Lion Tamer|
|6. Milk & Honey|
|8. Forever (Demis' Blues)|
|9. Another Way of Giving|
|11. Un Astronauta En Cielo|
|12. Freemasons Waltz|
Interestingly, a mutated Stereolab influence comes across at the album’s opening, with I’m Aware oozing a reclined but immediate charm. In fact, things get so gloopy that a gentle love song emerges in the shape of Baby which, in fairness, is quite lovely. This new, soupy fashion cannot last forever, though, and by the time we erupt into Lion Tamer Clinic have fully opened out and let the dark, distorted, rusty scuzz return, with brilliantly entertaining results.
They even have time for a Jarvis Cocker-esque monologue on Radiostory which, with its murk and leaden pace, makes for an involving interlude. As it progresses, Bubblegum easily stands up alongside Clinic’s best work, though anyone with a desperate hankering for their most buzzing and evil guises (live shows often see them performing in trademark medical smocks for added character) might well be left wanting. Softness is an equal weapon to imposing, feral noise – for example, the yearning thud of Evelyn channels an emotional plainness that has been absent from their work until now.
Bubblegum is Clinic at their most approachable and, importantly, shows them to be sharp and direct in their more affecting statements. In the spirit of progression they march on towards a neon-pop future, and hopefully their next effort will see them capitalise on it even further. As long as they don’t jettison too much of their musical grit and grunt, the newness of their lush pop sounds will continue to sound as fresh as it does here.--Daniel Ross
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