Clinic - Classic or Dud?

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Borrowed Internal Wrangler off the g/f and listened to the first two or three tracks of it last night. Quite pleased. Only half an hour long too = bonus! What's the new stuff like? What's the verdict on the rest of the album? Do they sound like The Fall? Cos that's what I always imagined The Fall would sound like only I've never listened to them cos Mark E Smith scares the beheebijeebies outta me.

Nick Southall (Nick Southall), Friday, 24 January 2003 10:29 (eighteen years ago) link

new stuff's slower and more "mature"-sounding but still really really good. they know how to write a tune, how to work a beat, how to color and shade. I love Ade's voice, too--a really appealing mumble/mewl, and I'm not ordinarily a fan of that kind of thing. classic, absolutely

M Matos (M Matos), Friday, 24 January 2003 10:34 (eighteen years ago) link

yeah I like that album alright but nick i don't think they sound much like the fall at all. (part of the reason i listen to the fall so much is because m.e.s. scares the beheebijeebies outta me!)

geeta, Friday, 24 January 2003 10:38 (eighteen years ago) link

Clinic: Classic or Dud?

Melissa W (Melissa W), Friday, 24 January 2003 11:13 (eighteen years ago) link

I like em, but I don't love 'em. "Distortions" "The Second Line" and "Walking With Thee" are amazing songs. The rest are good, but pale in comparison to those three. Methinks the best is yet to come. :-)

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Friday, 24 January 2003 13:19 (eighteen years ago) link

i think internal wrangler is brilliant,haven't heard anything else...

robin (robin), Friday, 24 January 2003 14:32 (eighteen years ago) link

classic for now, but Walking With Thee should have been called "More Internal Wranglin' with Clinic!" Basically two points below whatever you through of Internal Wranger (an 8 for me, so a 6 max for WWT).

To me it basically sounds like early '60s frat rock played by Radiohead.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Friday, 24 January 2003 23:23 (eighteen years ago) link

Walking With Thee=my album of 2002. No lie. And early '60s fratrock doesn't have all the funk and swank that Clinic's rhythms do; compare "The Bridge" to, say, Girogio Moroder's "I Wanna Funk With You Tonight" and you've got a surprisingly close bedfellow.

Nate Patrin (Nate Patrin), Saturday, 25 January 2003 00:37 (eighteen years ago) link

what's the one where he sings "come into my room..."?

michael wells (michael w.), Sunday, 26 January 2003 19:43 (eighteen years ago) link

The EPs are better than the full legnths.

Colin Beckett (Colin Beckett), Sunday, 26 January 2003 20:57 (eighteen years ago) link

four years pass...

Just spun IW - fucking great fun. I should probably investigate the rest of the back catalogue again now.

Scik Mouthy, Tuesday, 21 August 2007 12:35 (thirteen years ago) link

I don't think they've done anything as good as their early singles, um since their early singles. But I do like (the song) Walking With Thee.

Colonel Poo, Tuesday, 21 August 2007 14:56 (thirteen years ago) link

Clinic have two great songs (one that is fast and sort of swings, the other is slower and usually with a melodica)...which they play over and over and over, and just call them different names. They are a two trick pony.

If you've heard "Internal Wrangler" you've heard the rest, which are just lamer versions of the songs on "Internal Wrangler."

kwhitehead, Tuesday, 21 August 2007 16:30 (thirteen years ago) link

sadly, qft.

grimly fiendish, Tuesday, 21 August 2007 17:28 (thirteen years ago) link

first two albums are pretty great

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 21 August 2007 17:29 (thirteen years ago) link

I never bothered to hunt down the last two

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 21 August 2007 17:29 (thirteen years ago) link

i can't remember where i gave up on them. at least one album ago; maybe two.

grimly fiendish, Tuesday, 21 August 2007 17:49 (thirteen years ago) link

ep collection and internal wrangler are high quality; rest is eh

pretzel walrus, Tuesday, 21 August 2007 18:00 (thirteen years ago) link

internal wrangler is amazing - really really surprised me when i went back to it. walking with thee also v good. the rest - hohum.

surprised at the degree of consensus!

sean gramophone, Tuesday, 21 August 2007 18:33 (thirteen years ago) link

Dud. They have one good album

teflon monkey, Tuesday, 21 August 2007 19:14 (thirteen years ago) link

ep collection and internal wrangler are high quality; rest is eh

Absolutely agree, much as I tried to love subsequent efforts, they just seemed superfluous.

Mr. Odd, Tuesday, 21 August 2007 19:30 (thirteen years ago) link

They're good live- I saw them at the weekend and they were great. Kind of agree they're a bit of a one trick band, though.

Neil S, Tuesday, 21 August 2007 19:31 (thirteen years ago) link

I also dig Internal Wrangler, but the rest just sounds like 'more of the same'... good once, but twice? Zzz....

Rombald, Tuesday, 21 August 2007 19:47 (thirteen years ago) link

funny, I can appreciate Internal Wrangler as the sort of revered artifact it seems to be among critics, and I never much cared for Walking with Thee, but I actually think Winchester Cathedral is far and away the best Clinic album I've heard as it's actually got the songs (i.e. less than 1-2 minutes snippets of songs) to complement their sound, which admittedly hasn't evolved much in the last 6-7 years


it seems Christgau would agree with me:

Internal Wrangler [Domino, 2001]
fun with indie-rock, good--only their idea of fun is so inarticulate ("T.K.," "C.Q.") ***

Walking With Thee [Domino, 2002]
if not clinical, definitely formal ("Pet Eunoch," "Welcome") *

Winchester Cathedral [Domino, 2004]
Decried for the sin of repeating themselves by those who once discerned the face of the Blessed Virgin in their surgical masks, these minor formalists find their calling. Really, children, they were never punky enough for fast-short-hard. Here, their structures adamantly circular and their tunes less catchy but more durable, they make dandy mystagogues on an album that begins inarticulate and attains the nirvana of total nonverbality. A-

stephen, Tuesday, 21 August 2007 20:25 (thirteen years ago) link

I also saw them at the weekend and also thought they were good. I can't really disagree about their limited palette but I reckon they have a wider range of influences than they're given credit for, they just don't telegraph it. On the B-sides album that just came out, there's a song called 'Nicht' that sounds like Void and is fucking nuts

DJ Mencap, Tuesday, 21 August 2007 21:09 (thirteen years ago) link

Winchester Cathedral? anyone?? cmon!

stephen, Wednesday, 22 August 2007 02:28 (thirteen years ago) link

two years pass...


Clinic 'Bubblegum'

Domino is proud to announce the arrival of Clinic's new album 'Bubblegum', released on Monday the 4th of October 2010.

‘Bubblegum’, Clinic’s sixth album, is a rewiring of Clinic’s trademark hyped up sound. In place of churning riffs and wired vocals is a dream state of harpsichords, dulcimers and strings. Melody and softness combine with the band’s unique internal logic to produce a record of pop beauty.

Bubblegum is Clinic throwing us a curveball. Alternating between lost soundtracks to exploitation films: ‘Lion Tamer’, ‘Un Astronauta En Cielo’, watery pop-psych: ‘Bubblegum’, ‘Linda’, ‘Forever’ and ping-pong symphonies: ‘Milk & Honey’ and ‘Another Way Of Giving’, this is a very different and very singular Clinic.

Produced by John Congleton (Bill Callahan, St Vincent) and recorded at Elevator Studios in Liverpool, 'Bubblegum' is a high water mark in Clinic’s career to date.
The album will be preceded by the beautiful new single 'I'm Aware' out September the 20th. Download and listen to a characteristically unique megamix (vocal and instrumental) of ‘Bubblegum’ in the Commune.

‘Bubblegum’ will be available on CD (WIGCD256), vinyl (WIGLP256) and as a digital download (WIG256).


I'm Aware * Bubblegum * Baby * Lion Tamer * Linda
Milk & Honey * Radiostory * Forever (Demis' Blues)
Another Way Of Giving * Evelyn
Un Astronauta En Cielo * Freemason Waltz *

ilxor has truly been got at and become an ILXor (ilxor), Tuesday, 22 June 2010 03:10 (eleven years ago) link

interest piqued

kilgour's chronic (electricsound), Tuesday, 22 June 2010 03:12 (eleven years ago) link

I'm glad people are still excited about Clinic post-Internal Wrangler

Evan, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 03:58 (eleven years ago) link

I'm glad people are still excited about Clinic post-Internal Wrangler

I wish I was, but I really tried to get into their next couple of albums after IW and it just never grabbed me the same way. I'll check out some of the new tracks online, see if anything's changed.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 04:01 (eleven years ago) link

It's weird, I really loved all of Internal Wrangler and most of Walking With Thee, and then...nothing. I can barely even make it through a song after those two, though not for lack of trying. A while back I was thinking about it, and thought that maybe I had outgrew "that sound" or whatever, because I was listening to Clinic back in the my days of listening to loads of indie rock, but no, I put on Internal Wrangler again and it still kicks just as much ass as I remember. Something happened after Walking With Thee, something blaaaaaand, and it's tough to explain.

Come along, we shall dine at an expensive French restaurant. (Z S), Tuesday, 22 June 2010 04:18 (eleven years ago) link

they burned out on their signature sound, and they're unwilling or unable to move past it.

Daniel, Esq., Tuesday, 22 June 2010 08:03 (eleven years ago) link

but i still love internal wrangler so much.

Daniel, Esq., Tuesday, 22 June 2010 08:04 (eleven years ago) link

Internal Wrangler is rightly praised, but I don't think Clinic ever really went away. Last year's Do It! is excellent; that odds 'n' ends collection (forget the name) was awesome; my very favorite is Winchester Cathedral. Didn't get as heavily into Visitations and Walking with Thee, but I've enjoyed them the times I've played them in recent years.

ilxor has truly been got at and become an ILXor (ilxor), Tuesday, 22 June 2010 13:27 (eleven years ago) link

three months pass...

I hope this is good. these dudes were underrated imho

crude interloper of a once august profession (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 30 September 2010 19:55 (ten years ago) link

Funny, I just played this album and wrapped up listening ~10 min ago. It's a bit... underwhelming?

Stream here:

ilxor has truly been got at and become an ILXor (ilxor), Thursday, 30 September 2010 20:36 (ten years ago) link

Their recent stuff has been so blah that I'd kind of forgotten how truly good Internal Wrangler is. Holds up much better than I expected going in. Weird that the final song reminds me of first album Slapp Happy, of all people. I'll still check out their new album, but expectations are low.

dlp9001, Friday, 1 October 2010 01:25 (ten years ago) link

I really liked Do It! and the Funf collection of stuff, but this new album's left me cold so far. =/

ilxor has truly been got at and become an ILXor (ilxor), Friday, 1 October 2010 02:30 (ten years ago) link

On first listen, I'm pleasantly surprised. So far it sounds really good and different from their other albums. I still have not heard Do It! , but maybe I'll pick this up next week.

Professor Respect, Friday, 1 October 2010 03:06 (ten years ago) link

Ok, after a few listens (and I never trust impressions based on streams) this seems at least better than anything they've done since Internal Wrangler. It's still clear that they're going to have to go all Tago Mago to ever break out of their rut: they need to do a double album w/all songs over ten minutes.

"Evelyn" is about as good as anything they've done. I'll wait for the real release to think about it more...

dlp9001, Friday, 1 October 2010 18:39 (ten years ago) link

Oh, and contrary to Pitchfork, I hear this as much stronger in the 2nd half.

dlp9001, Friday, 1 October 2010 18:44 (ten years ago) link

eight months pass...

a friend of mine just played these guys for me. no idea what albums he was pulling stuff from - but me likey.

magic punani (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Monday, 13 June 2011 21:00 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

I love these guys. Anyone listen to the new Free Reign? Free Reign II...

Following last year’s release of Free Reign – the sixth studio album by Liverpool’s stalwarts of the surreal Clinic, the band have now announced the imminent landing of Free Reign II – a set of alternate mixes of the original album by revered producer Daniel Lopatin.

Initially involved in the mixing of several songs on the original Free Reign, the band felt that Lopatin’s vision for the record deserved to be fully realised and available. Zoning in on the creeping dub influence that’s always been bubbling in Clinic’s work, Lopatin’s mixes mutate the already mind-clouding originals into something heavier, narcotic and more hypnotic than before. As he himself puts it, "I wanted to give it a burnt, 60s/70s stereo dub feel and was under the influence of a lot of Amon Düül II and Les Rallizes Dénudés when I was mixing."

A fascinating new perspective on the original album for those wise enough to have sought it out already and a great work in its own right for Free Reign newcomers, this collaboration with one of contemporary, experimental electronic music's greatest innovators is testament to the enduring influence of Clinic – one of the most trailblazing British bands of their era.

About to put it on.

afriendlypioneer, Wednesday, 6 March 2013 18:09 (eight years ago) link

That one sounds pretty good. It inspired me to put together a singles comp, A's and B's, to see if I can connect to their later work (this approach worked for Stereolab). Anyone got a digital copy of "Gentle Lady"? ILXmail me please!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 7 March 2013 03:52 (eight years ago) link

Love this. Sounds so sinister.

afriendlypioneer, Friday, 8 March 2013 16:46 (eight years ago) link

three weeks pass...

I was very surprised by how much I like Free Reign II, after being kind of meh about Free Reign. Even the reshuffled track order seems to work better. Put together a Spotify playlist to make it easier to compare the different versions...

dlp9001, Thursday, 4 April 2013 01:47 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

Just found out that Clinic are doing a thing at the Barbican after the residents this Saturday at the 'club' stage, I guess it's free?

MaresNest, Thursday, 16 May 2013 15:56 (eight years ago) link

four years pass...

lol i heard them on a college radio station and i knew i recognized them but it took me a few minutes. at first i thought..... is this the violent femmes? lol

marcos, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 15:31 (three years ago) link

Distortions is an all time classic track

Week of Wonders (Ross), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 15:52 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

Clinic - "Rubber Bullets", taken from the forthcoming new album 'Wheeltappers and Shunters', out 10th May 2019 on Domino Record Co

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 15:28 (two years ago) link

Hear ye, hear ye! Roll up, roll up! Welcome to Wheeltappers and Shunters! After an unprecedented seven year break, Clinic, Liverpool’s cherished post-punk pop experimentalists return with album number eight, released on May 10th, by Domino. The unusual name is taken from the long-forgotten 1970s ITV variety show The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club, compered by Bernard Manning, which recreated the smoky, boozy atmosphere of Northern working men's clubs for a sofa-bound audience.

“It’s been a pisstake thing between us for quite a few years,” reveals Ade Blackburn, Clinic spokesman, of the show that the album title references. “Whenever we’d talk about a song sounding too ‘cabaret’ or too nice, we’d say, ‘That’s a bit Wheeltappers and Shunters’.

This album is neither a celebration nor a denigration of the culture of the era in which Blackburn and his collaborator-in-chief, Hartley, grew up. “It’s a satirical take on British culture - high and low,” explains Blackburn. “It fascinates me that people look back on the 1970s as the glory days. It’s emerged that there was a darker, more perverse side to that time. When you look back on it now it was quite clearly there in mainstream culture.”

The first track to be shared from Wheeltappers and Shunters is ‘Rubber Bullets’, fifties rock’n’roll is the order of the day as Blackburn grunts “Neanderthal” over a twanging rockabilly guitar riff à la Scotty Moore.

The album was recorded last year in founding band member Hartley's Liverpool studio, before they brought in Dilip Harris (King Krule, Sons Of Kemet, Mount Kimbie) to mix it. “We thought it felt right to make a fun, dancefloor album in these dark and conservative times,” Blackburn continues. Fun, sure, but this is Clinic – their brand of fun oozes with menace.

The Great Britain that Clinic are evoking is not that ancient, bucolic past of village green cricket, half a mild and hanky-waving Morris Dancers that many seem so determined that the country should return to, but a rather more sleazy past. Clinic’s reverie is for a time when Blackpool was the pleasure capital of the kingdom and the public was kept entertained by travelling circuses and the dirty glamour of the funfair; tacky end of the pier merriment and enforced fun at Butlins; when bell-ringing town criers bellowed their nonsensical broadsides into the ether.

For most bands about to enter their third decade as an entity the well would be running dry, but eight albums in and Clinic still retain the ability to surprise. Clocking in at just over 28 minutes, Wheeltappers and Shunters is an absolute blast, rich in detail and sonic intrigue, those precious minutes stuffed with ideas. “We’d released albums like clockwork every two years, so it seemed natural to have a break,” Blackburn reveals. “It allowed everyone to do some quite oddball stuff, away from Clinic. I think we all wanted a bit more freedom.”

Additionally, Clinic have announced they will play BBC’s 6 Music Festival in Liverpool later this month.


1. Laughing Cavalier

2. Complex

3. Rubber Bullets

4. Tiger

5. Ferryboat of the Mind

6. Mirage

7. D.I.S.C.I.P.L.E

8. Flying Fish

9. Be Yourself/Year of the Sadist

10. Congratulations

11. Rejoice!

12. New Equations at the Copacabana


afriendlypioneer, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 15:50 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 8 April 2019 14:30 (two years ago) link

Not feeling very enthusiastic after listening to that.

Sounds just like 'Seamless Boogie Woogie,' ; the 'ha ha ha hee hee' bit oof.

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 8 April 2019 15:13 (two years ago) link

I feel like it's baked in with Clinic at this point that 20%-40% of the songs on each album will be duplicates of songs from the last album.

Will almost surely still get this bc I am hungry for new Clinic product.

One Eye Open, Monday, 8 April 2019 15:32 (two years ago) link

three weeks pass...

I've been on a Clinic binge.

'Falstaff' on Winchester Cathedral is incredible. 'WDYYB" is real underrated.

Looking forward to the new one ,even if it's all rehashes. They just have that sound, y'know.

afriendlypioneer, Friday, 3 May 2019 14:38 (two years ago) link

Winchester Cathedral was the first one of theirs I didn't love all the way through, but also contains some of my fav tunes of theirs - 'Falstaff' is one of their best songs, and I I rate 'Majestic #2' and 'Home' pretty high as well.

One Eye Open, Friday, 3 May 2019 15:33 (two years ago) link

Reviews for the new one are looking promising so far.

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 15:53 (two years ago) link

i dig this song

is the rest of this album worth hearing

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 16:30 (two years ago) link

I'd say so, if the idea of a keyboardless 90s-guitar-band version of Clinic appeals. Iirc it's not immediate or weird as the early Clinic stuff, but there are some tunes where you can hear the basics of their sound falling into place. I remember the clear standout tracks for me were "Funky Hospital", which prefigures "Porno", and "All the Guests Smile So Sweetly", both of which would have fit perfectly onto Internal Wrangler.

One Eye Open, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 17:51 (two years ago) link

This certainly feels like a logical continuation of the work they did on the Free Reign album, particularly the sequel produced/mixed by OPN.

I feel they rely a bit too much on one very samey bassline, the one you can hear on 'Laughing Cavalier.'

It ended up being much stranger than I expected.

Glad Clinic are back.

afriendlypioneer, Friday, 10 May 2019 14:37 (two years ago) link

I think the time away has done them good. Or maybe it’s done me good? It still sounds like the same old Clinic but I welcome it. Enjoying this so far.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 10 May 2019 16:02 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

New song “Fine Dining” certainly sounds like Clinic and I’m ok with that. No one else sounds like Clinic! To this day!? To this day. Sounds a bit more like their Higher Authorities LP, actually.

Always happy to see them return.

afriendlypioneer, Wednesday, 2 June 2021 13:19 (two months ago) link

Down to a duo now.

hamicle, Wednesday, 2 June 2021 13:47 (two months ago) link

Perhaps that’s why it’s sounding like Higher Authorities? I recall that was just two of the group. Not sure who, specifically.

afriendlypioneer, Wednesday, 2 June 2021 13:55 (two months ago) link

The Higher Authorities LP is one of the highlights of Clinic world. I hope the rest of the new album gives me that vibe.

afriendlypioneer, Wednesday, 2 June 2021 17:34 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

afriendlypioneer, Thursday, 22 July 2021 12:38 (one week ago) link

To add to that, new album is also called Fantasy Island and is due out October 22nd!

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 22 July 2021 14:54 (one week ago) link


Sam Weller, Thursday, 22 July 2021 15:05 (one week ago) link

finally got around to picking up the Higher Authorities LP recently (tons of copies for sale on US Discogs for $7 or less, must not have been a big seller, sad lol) and have been loving it, regret that i slept on it for so long

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Thursday, 22 July 2021 15:11 (one week ago) link

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