Clinic have got to be one of my all time favourite bands and when I received a notification that they are releasing a single on Feb 1st as a free download http://clinicvoot.org/free (how the hell does one insert a hyperlink???) I got well excited. Not only that but they are releasing their fifth album 'Do it' on the 8th March.
so after a ten year career are Clinic still a band with the same vigour they displayed back in 1997? or have they matured and mellowed out?
judging by Free not Free, it's a mixture of both.
The track itself opens up with a dramatic fuzzy riff which evolves into that typical residents waltz beat that Clinic are so fond of pulling off and basically the track alternates between quiet and loud, that is until the 1:50 mark when the melodica get pulled out and the track just turns into a spine tingling, haunting experience. The fuzz starts up again and the track ends like that.
the accompanying b-side (yep a b-side- and there's free sinister pyschedelic album artwork too!) Thor is a more menacing garage frazzled number that swoops and ducks at every opportunity, with added congas. It's not as slinky as the a-side but it is catchier.
In other words these tracks do show that the band are in fine fettle and still wearing their influences on their sleeves and creating that distinctive Clinic sound. But there is a certain laid back air which they've never really had before (well they tried it out with 2002's Walking with thee and it didn't work out). They definitely won't win new fans with this single but they are definitely pleasing the people who followed them from day one.
Still a great band through and through