Clinic

"Mutant pop" at the Old Brickhouse

Does anyone remember any of those overhyped Radiohead wannabes who blanketed the marketplace at the turn of the century? Vaguely, right? Ultimately, most of them ended up offering little more than fashionable dystopia, but Clinic stands as an important exception. The band members' surgical scrubs attire a silly shtick; they nonetheless harness the same sort of frightening, wordless anxiety that Thom Yorke adores. And their recent Winchester Cathedral continues the impressionistic paranoia of 2002's Walking With Thee. No one bothers decoding vocalist Ade Blackburn's moaning rants; he and his band mates merely suggest tumult and dread without ever nailing down the specifics. Even more than Clinic's last records, Winchester Cathedral rejects the concreteness of songs for the power of moods. "Mutant pop," they call it, which is a cool way of describing keyboards and percussion that sound like terror alarms. The band gets off on post-millennium tension, and few have articulated the Kid Aera so eloquently.

 
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