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CD Review: Clinic - "Do It!"

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Artist: Clinic
Album: Do It!
Label: Domino Records
Release Date: April 2008

Listen to "Free Not Free":

Long-established fuzz-masters Clinic have a ringer with Do It! In this parallel reverse universe, LA's No Age is the Beach Boys' answer to Clinic's Beatles question - even though I now have this answer, I don't know which Spock I am, but I know that I can say "She's dead, Jim" with conviction and authority.

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With not a track over 3:30, Do It! is a punk-psychedelic carnival ride with oompah-pah calliope sounds powered by incredible fuzz guitar and mumbly-slurred vocals. "Free Not Free" (above) is one of a few tunes that alternate between mellow lounge and foot-stomping punk. Some tunes are punctuated by blasts of sax ("Shopping Bag") that reminds me of the Fall but again the vocals separate Clinic from anyone else I've heard currently active at this time - Liverpudian Ade Blackburn puts his mouth right on the microphone creating a kind of distorted lisp, and there are harmonious and ghostly backing vocals ("The Witch (made to measure)" is a great example) make me think of the Monkees if they took a turn towards seriousness - and I'm saying this as a Monkees fan.

Do It! is a record that calls forth '60s mayhem, dripping surf reverb, old school punk, and elegant echoey loungecore that David Lynch would commission for his next TV series. I haven't heard anything that hit so many different sounds in one swell foop in quite a long time - they're either visionaries or crazy or both. I love it and from what I've read, these guys kick it live - they will be playing The Troubador on May 20th, I plan on being there.