Clinic Bubblegum

Clinic Bubblegum
Clinic have gotten a lot of mileage out of their trademark sound. For the past five albums (excluding compilations), they've played songs driven by vintage organs that were instantly recognisable as being Clinic(al). Album number six, Bubblegum, is mostly business as usual, but not quite. There's immediacy to the 13 songs, with the weirdness dialled right down, even though it's always lurking in the background. And that's what saves this release from being dull ― the first half is pretty sleepy, until "Lion Tamer" comes along, with its classic woozy Clinic riff, while "Evelyn" saves the day in a similar fashion in the second-half. Bubblegum should be considered a partial success even with its problems because it's refreshing to hear the band moving in new directions and stretching their wings. If they continue along the folkier path suggested by "Freemason Waltz," they could quite easily pick up the baton dropped by the Clientele when they called it a day. And that wouldn't be a bad thing at all. (Domino)