Clinic Winchester Cathedral

Clinic’s third album begins with a noise that strikes a close resemblance to the beeps you would hear in a hospital to detect someone’s vital signs. Apparently it’s the Greenwich Time Signal morphing into a smoke alarm, but are you going to believe this from four men who wear scrubs onstage? Either way, it’s an interesting way for these Liverpudlians to kick off the bizarrely titled Winchester Cathedral. Nominated last year for a Grammy, Clinic continues to develop their wall of sound, surf freak-outs in even more warped directions. Their signature sound hasn’t wandered far from home though in their attempt to move forward. Ade Blackburn’s vocals are still neurotic, the riffs are as wild as the beats are motorik and the melodica makes many guest appearances and yet, to balance it out, their musical curiosities seem as radical as ever. Expanding their already wide range of influences, the band has beefed up their portfolio with the magical Motown slow dance of "Falstaff,” the alluring snake charmer "The Magician,” and "Vertical Take Off In Egypt,” a song that displays what a blues explosion really sounds like. Once again, Clinic has constructed an album that is frantically adventurous, diversely arranged and another fine example of how gifted they are at uniting the left field with pop music. (Domino)