Clinic "Free Not Free"

Clinic 'Free Not Free'
It’s been a decade since I first heard "IPC Subeditors Dictate Our Youth,” the frantic debut single by a weird band from Liverpool called Clinic. It was love at first listen that grew and grew with the band’s first two full-lengths (not to mention the awesome self-titled comp that preceded them). But since 2002’s Walking With Thee, the four-piece haven’t exactly matured beyond the surf/garage/Krautrock fusions they enticed us with in the first place. Needless to say, if you missed out on either 2004’s Winchester Cathedral or 2006’s Visitations, well, you likely didn’t miss out on much. With a new album on the way called Do It! (out April 8 on Domino), the Scousers have prepped a complimentary download as the first single called "Free Not Free” — but yeah, unlike its title it’s actually free. (Could they give a free download a more confusing name?) With this, Clinic have given me a new lease on their life, finding that blithe groove they so successfully sunk into with the back to back duo of 2000’s "Distortions” and "The Second Line.” After a deceptive five seconds, "Free Not Free” unveils Clinic’s unknown romantic side, slipping into some dreamy reverb that would’ve killed at a school dance back in the early ’60s (even Ade Blackburn’s neurotic vocal sounds swoony). Their weakness for loud garage licks are still present, but they flick them on and off as terse reminders, showing a remarkable amount of restraint for a band that often indulge in such riffage like it was their bad coke fix. With the brass and bongos, it’s almost even a little easy and loungey, but its exactly what an act like Clinic needs at this point in their career.

Click here to download "Free Not Free” and b-side "Thor.”