Face-mask-wearing experimental rockers
Since 2000, Liverpool’s indie/noise/psychedelic band Clinic has released a full-length album every two years, with 2012 being no different. And after fifteen years of practice with the same band members, album number seven, Free Reign, comes with anticipation and high expectations from fans.
“Misty” starts the album off with frontman Ade Blackburn’s distinct, wavery, surf-rock voice and it isn’t until later that the keyboards Clinic is known for chime in. While almost all of Clinic’s songs clock in somewhere between two and four minutes, “Misty” is more than five minutes long, giving the song a chance to gracefully elaborate.
There are three other songs on the record that exceed five minutes, including the five-and-a-half minute-long track “See Saw,” which noise and experimental fans will enjoy more than anyone else (and which incorporates a clarinet), “Miss You,” which was mixed by electronic artist Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never), and, finally, “You,” also mixed by Lopatin.
The clarinet makes another appearance in “For The Season,” a slow, mellow, and ambient tune; it also shows up in “Cosmic Radiation,” which is a similar listening experience, but more fast-paced, and Blackburn’s vocals are echoing and distant.
Free Reign may have a few dull moments, but there are plenty of enticing melodies riddled throughout. Clinic knows very well how to make post-rock-psychedelic-experimental-funk songs, which isn’t a very easy thing to do.