With the slow but steady demise of…
- Posted on Aug 17th 2010 11:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
The groovy new duds -- replacements for the usual drab OR scrubs -- likely have to do with the group's sixth album, 'Bubblegum,' due in October. A pre-release "megamix" medley suggests a smoothed-out, placid collection, and Monday night, the band confirmed this suspicion, unveiling a handful of uncommonly palatable new tracks.
Standouts 'Milk & Honey' and 'Baby' were pleasant psych-pop throwbacks, the former recalling the 13th Floor Elevators' 'Pictures (Leave Your Body Behind),' the latter the Seeds' 'Can't Seem to Make You Mine.' Featuring frontman Ade Blackburn on organ, not that raw-nerve Telecaster of his, the new jams lacked the eerie, off-kilter aggressiveness that characterizes much of Clinic's catalog.
On 'I'm Aware,' the new album's leadoff single, Blackburn played an acoustic guitar and sang, "In the dark, you're never gone." The tune is breezy enough, but Blackburn bit down on his words with Thom Yorke dread. The same was true of 'Linda,' which the singer played solo. Behind him, his fellow Clinicians stood like mannequins, modeling the latest uniforms from the Carlos Santana Center for Psychedelic Surgery.
Not every new song was as somber. On the swinging closer, 'Orangutan,' drummer Carl Turney shook jungle-party maracas while guitarist Jonathan Hartley worked a whining wah-wah pedal, mimicking the sound of simian cries. "You live your life in fantasies," Blackburn seemed to sing. It was hard to make out the words, what with the mask and all.