- Audio CD (23 Aug. 2004)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Domino Records
- ASIN: B00024753O
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 167,661 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Winchester Cathedral Import
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.Label: Domino Records.Published: 2010/'All songs Sony/ATV Music Publishing.Made in the EU..'
Clinics third album doesnt find the surreal, masked Liverpudlian fourpiece venturing in any bold, new directions. Instead, Winchester Cathedral has them heading down the same twisted path as their previous releases. Fans of Clinic will know what to expect, then: twisted and eerie artrock that sounds like Hitchcockian circus music, with the frantic "Country Mile" and its clenched-teeth vocal delivery setting the pace from the outset. All their trademarks are still here, from the whining harmonium to the jerky guitars. So Winchester Cathedral wont really garner many converts to Clinics weirdness. And thats a shame--for a band that prides itself on its quirkiness, Winchester Cathedral could have done with a bit more experimentation. What sounded fresh and exciting on Internal Wrangler, their 2001 debut album, now just sounds a bit formulaic and, all too often, repetitive. Still, at least their more die-hard fans will appreciate that W inchester Cathedral still sounds resoluteley like a Clinic album, and no one else. Few bands can boast that. --Robert Burrow
Top customer reviews
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now in many of the reviews i've read this is seen as a bad thing,that clinic are stagnating,not progressing.to a point i agree,there hasn't been the development that critics anticipated.
i'm not sure on what the critics based thier anticipation on though.there wasn't a great leap in style or content between the two previous albums.
so what do you get?
tight,neat, twisted pop songs.some fast and furious,others slow and with unexpected harmony vocals.the liberal use of psycho surf guitar,melodica,occasional piano,and low in the mix spectoral vocals.
all good things.
you can't really compare clinic to other bands.the best way to get a feel for their sound is to listen to one of their cds,and this is as good as any place to start.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Beyond that shtick for appearing in surgical scrubs, Clinic is known for first having a sort of wild, erratic sound, then toning it down as they strove for musical growth. They strive some more in "Winchester Cathdral." It starts off strong with the complex, stomping-rhythmic "Country Mile," and the eerie "Annie."
But things crash to a stop in "Vertical Take Off in Egypt," which is both confusing and over-dense, laced with a sound like spinning bike wheels. It feels like an experiment, but not a successful one. It's jarring to encounter it, and the experience of the faint "Home" and guitar-rock "WDYYB" were overshadowed by it. It's followed by some fairly nice pop songs, but ends on a weird note with the instrumental "Fingers." It sounds like it was tacked on -- the energetic, driven "Thank You (For Living)" would have made a better finale.
Nobody can really expect a band to have loads of enthusiasm in their third album, but can't Clinic sound like they're having even a LITTLE fun? Drummer Carl Turney said in "Under the Radar" that this album was supposed to sound less polished than its predecessor -- warmer, grittier, more organic.
Well, it sounds a lot grittier and more organic. But warmer? Well... not exactly. It sounds a little too deliberate, a little too carefully crafted. No spontaneous spark. Guys -- maybe taking a year and a half is not such a good idea. It can create technical excellence, but can also iron out your passion.
Technically, they have a similar sound -- clarinets and pianos, mixed in with bass and guitar. The last part of the album (except "Fingers") is the best, even mixing in a Klezmer in the sinuous, exotic pop of "August," and a wonderfully frantic sound. Elsewhere it's soft and psychedelic, like in "Home" -- these songs imply that Clinic could surge forward into a new and even better sound.
Good luck understanding Ade Blackburn. He sounds royally P.O.ed, but I can't figure out what he's singing about -- little snatches float out like "and we wouldn't touch you," "in the countryside" and the occasional "yeoww," but most of his singing is buried. His muffled voice is second fiddle to the music.
While songs like "Falstaff" and "August" hint at brilliance, the sound of "Winchester Cathedral" is still very much as Clinic's past albums. It's a pleasant listen, but not a great one. Perhaps that will come with their next release...
On that score, I'll concede, this is Clinic's weakest record. But, as I am a huge fan of the first three (especially "Wrangler" and "Three EP's," both of which I consider essential), this is not to imply that I dislike this album - I think it's very good. And I agree with the others here who've said that there is growth to be found here - especially in the doo-wop fixtures of the great tune "Falstaff," and in some new sonic trickery here and there.
I won't pretend that wouldn't like Clinic to start to move their sound into some new areas, but again, in subtle ways, I think they are doing so, and I think that album is a tentative step in the right direction.
Walking With Thee, more polished and mainstream-like, a sound for those who prefer the clean(er) pop/rock energy, but some feel that it doesn't have the raw edge of Internal Wrangler.
Winchester Cathedral... some complain it's boring or lacking in the same energy. It doesn't have the same 'retro' style as the last couple albums. Instead, the album as a whole, has a more whimsical sound, sometimes eerie and sometimes dreamy. If I had to make a comparison, for those who have the last two albums think "Goodnight Georgie" and somewhat "For the Wars". More clarinet heavy than percussion.
The punk/garage sound lives in "W.D.Y.Y.B." and the instrumental "Vertical Take Off In Egypt". "The Magician" and "August" seem a bit like a manic and twisted carnival. "Home" and "Falstaff" have a sound like a weary-eyed crooner; slow, desperate, and melancholic. "Country Mile", "Circle of Fifths", and "Thank You For Living" are somewhat reminiscent of the last two, but heavier atmospheric-ly.
In my opinion all of the tracks are great, just different, more blue in some way. A new vision to make one wonder where they are going with the next album.
Songs to note: "Anne", "The Magician", "Falstaff", and "W.D.Y.Y.B."