Walking with Thee
Clinic are even better than their buzz suggested. Best known for being ”Radiohead’s favorite band” and prone to dressing up in surgical masks and ”Sgt. Pepper” suits, this Liverpudlian foursome actually bears as much sonic resemblance to Yorke and Co. as do the Soggy Bottom Boys. Their debut LP, last year’s 31-minute ”Internal Wrangler,” was an intriguing but uneven blend of song fragments and half-formed ideas. Walking With Thee (Domino) is a major step forward, with complete songs built around a rhythmic pulse that owes nothing to modern dance-music conventions but would still sound spectacular in a sweaty club. Clearly inspired by the hippie era’s experimental fringes (Can, Silver Apples) and early-’80s post-punk, the band builds unusual grooves out of distorted vintage organs and hypnotic double-time beats, while singer Ade Blackburn wraps his nasal voice around elusive tunes. Clinic are the first exciting English rock act in recent memory who don’t trade off tired Yorke-isms or orchestrated ’60s pop (”Pepper” outfits notwithstanding), serving as a welcome reminder that there will always be combinations of rhythm and texture that remain uninvestigated.