on 28 February 2002
Perhaps the most annoying thing about your favourite bands is that at some point they'll find a copy of 'Pet Sounds' or 'Metal machine Music' and produce an album you still feel honour-bound to buy, but which will never be played in its entirety again. To each 'Dolittle' its 'Trompe Le Monde'. Whilst there is nothing wrong with a little progress, I much prefer the smooth upward parabola, a pattern Clinic appear to be following perfectly. Taking the trademark reverb-drenched clattering, insistent rhythms, the mournful thin organ melodies, and the sinister, childlike whisper/whine of Ade Blackburn (one of rock's most underrated voices) 'Walking...' is a slightly less rough-edged 'Internal Wrangler'. Kicking off with the tremendous 'Harmony', with it's skittering spy-movie beats and Laurie Anderson 'O Superman' sample, the whole album gives off a tremendous feeling of confidence. Clinic now seem to be in total control. This isn't to say the whole thing's overpolished. It still sounds, as I'm sure it should, like it was recorded in a rehearsal room - fantastic. Other highlights; the surfy 'Welcome', the almost ATDI-like belter 'Pet Eunuch' and the final, music-box waltz 'For The Wars'. Lyrics used almost as percussion in parts, unfathomable, and sensitive use of analogue synths, drum machines and keyboards make this already one of the releases of 2002. In 'Harmony', Blackburn sings of a place where no-one 'lives on their wits'. He's doing just the opposite, and brilliantly so.
on 24 April 2003
As soon as you hit play on your cd player, and "Harmony" begins, I'm sure you will go "..oh yeah, another Radiohead look alike...", but that feeling shakes away as you go further and further. "The Equaliser" (track 2) is hypnotic. So far, just by those two songs, the cd is already worth its price. But then "Welcome" appears, and your mind is blown away. The best song, period. Need to say more? OK. The title track is incredible, very psychodelic, pure 70's. "Pet Eunuch" rocks hard. "Mr. Moonlight" is lovely. Track 7, "Come into Our Room", appears, and you are blown away again. Maybe that one is the most accesible song on this cd (or maybe the catchiest???). "The Vulture" is really impressive, really simple, a little scary. "The Bridge" lives in the same style as track 2, but catchier (still hypnotic). Track 10 is the weakest (though very good, it's a little forgetable). "For the Wars" (a great closer) is a little bit Travis-like (that being a good thing!!!). I don't know about Internal Wrangler (maybe it's better, cooler or so, but I haven't listened to it), but Walking With Thee was an extremely satisfaying surprise. This is really a must have for everyone who appreciates great stuff, out-of-the-box-not-pretentious-catchy music and british style.