Hailing from Liverpool and famed for hiding behind surgical masks, Clinic have remained the cryptic indie lover’s dream since they formed in 1997. With a ‘Post-Punk Revival’ label and cult status, Clinic have continued to develop their sound over the past 13 years to varying degrees, none more so than in this their 6th album, Bubblegum.
Appropriately named, Bubblegum unveils the lighter side of Clinic, inviting us into a more mellow space where psychedelic funk and retro guitar effects are rife. Opening with the content mid-tempo number, ‘I’m Aware’ the vibe is immediately set to chill. Vintage inspired ballads slip in through ‘Linda’ and the acoustic swooning of ‘Baby’, showing off Clinic’s (surprisingly) romantic side.
Swinging in from the other direction, ‘Evelyn’ hooks you with insatiable percussion and sci-fi vocals, while ‘Radiostory’ takes on a life of its own with eloquent spoken verse and poetic absurdness. Quietly showing off their synth skills and musical prowess, ‘Un Atronauta en Cielo’ reveals yet another layer of pleasure towards the end. The finale of the album seems to be a quick ‘we haven’t gone soft’ announcement with the introduction of more meaty melodies via ‘Orangutan’ which closes the album with an unassuming bang.
Veering far from the bands early work of Internal Wrangler, Bubblegum explores their penchant for late 60s funk with typical abandon to produce mind bending results.
Words: Kat Nicholls