Clinic

    {grate 3.5} Despite their relative mainstream anonymity, British based
    Clinic are hardly newcomers to alternative rock with their fifth album, the
    emphatically titled Do It!. Building on the eclectic fusion of disparate genres
    and sounds that produce the group’s current label-defying reputation, Do It!
    delivers inscrutably catchy tracks that have prompted widespread critical
    praise and a modest but passionate cult of listeners. Incorporating everything
    from smooth electric guitar riffs and pounding beats to bursts of synthesizer,
    Do It! is pleasing to the ear, if puzzling to comprehend.

    The first track, “Memories,” is a microcosm of the album,
    oscillating between a generic guitar riff and an eerie series of chimes. The
    tones mix with airy, accented vocals, presenting an absolute departure from the
    ubiquitous lyrics that characterize most indie bands. Off-kilter notes from
    trademark vintage keyboards and organs (contributing to their retro sound)
    initially detract from the fluidity, but their seemingly random insertion
    eventually subsides into a dreamy, flowing fluency, a composition of organized
    chaos. Contrast pervades, with tracks smoothly segueing from gritty and
    thumping to calm and meandering, with the often fast-paced instruments a foil
    to the lyrics’ softer tones.

    The album is tight and concise with 11 tracks clocking in at
    just over 30 minutes, inflicting only a mild case of musical fatigue that might
    otherwise result from the repetitive rehash of the same basic framework.
    Clinic’s chief problem is a frequent imitation of self; they need to vary their
    style more and dig into further, unexplored territory.

    Clinic offers a sound that refrains from the overwhelming
    musical cacophony of contemporary alternative rock, instead favoring a calmer
    and more accessible style. While this originality has rendered widespread
    success elusive for Clinic, it is refreshing for a band to shun the formulaic
    playbook and attempt to write its own.

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