CLINIC – Free Reign

January 01, 1970



The surgically-masked, reverb-on-everything,
vintage-keyboard despoiling wizards of Liverpool
have never really matched their first full-length, 2000’s Internal Wrangler, for sheer inventiveness. Their subsequent albums
have explored spasmodic rhythms and wistful surreality in different shades, but
the same basic palette.


Free Reign, co-produced by
Oneohtrix Point Never’s Daniel Lopatin, is subtler, jazzier and
ever-so-slightly sexier than previous Clinic outings, slipping threads of
saxophone through effect-altered caves of echo. Even “See Saw,” the most
old-style Clinic of cuts with its blurts of wah, abrupt
rhythms and chilled air of panic, seethes in the margins with nightclub reeds. “For
the Season” takes “Goodnight Georgie”‘s melancholy in a striking, moving
direction, its lounge-y slither framed by nostalgia. “All you want’s what you
can get,” sings Blackburn in a tenor that has
always seemed to glow phosphorescent, now washed with the blue-ish glow of the
jazz club. It’s a small shift, but very much worth pursuing.


DOWNLOAD: “See Saw,” “For the

Leave a Reply