For some strange reason, whenever I listen to Clinic I get this twisted vision of the band as puppet masters and on the end of their strings dance the recently slaughtered bodies of the Beach Boys. Lifeless, yet eerily animated, these corpses play out Clinic's own brand of surf-punk with singer Ade Blackburn's pursed-lipped vocals crawling from the mouth of Brian Wilson like maggots from a Thunderbird. Anyway...on with the review.
Do It is Clinic's fifth album and sees the band inhabiting much the same universe that they've been sole occupiers of since they started. It's a warped technicolor celebration that can veer from dreamy pop to acid psychosis with very little advance warning. This bipolar tension is deliciously seductive and on Do It Clinic have never sounded so relaxed and so uptight.
Memories opens this record with a gentle harpsichord chime which clears the way for a stomping marching band of calamitous percussion and driving guitars. With unstoppable ferocity it tramples down the aural highstreet of your mind, stopping dead as Blackburn imparts his bittersweet wisdom, then marching on as the occupying forces take their positions. The guitar strings on Tomorrow nearly buckle under the weight of the empty twang while single The Witch continues the advancing assault with thunderous guitars and booming rhythm. Shopping Bag is the point where this army takes up position and the real battle begins. With ferocious drumming and wild clarinet squeals Blackburn's voice reaches fever pitch as it assumes a crazed, demonic tone. It marks the most feral point of this record and even though the downbeat tempo of Corpus Christi shows no signing of afflicting the same damage its seething tension and distant squeals spell danger.
The juxtaposition that inhabits Clinic's sound is what give them their edge. Stylistically Do It doesn't stray too far from the ground covered by 2006's Visitations but simply reinforces and subtly steps up the tension between paranoia and tranquil waters. Their music envelopes the listener in an almost drug induced haze where nothing is as it seems. Visions of mysterious fortune tellers' horses in High Coin or the booming fog horn on Mary And Eddie loom out of this haze like dark ships that threaten your every turn. Each song continues this maniacal descent into madness as they spin you round and round on their twisted broken-down fair ground ride until you emerge, exhausted, the other side to the sound of chiming church bells. There is a reason why Clinic inhabit their own universe, no one else dares.
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