Clinic – Walking With Thee

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist (part 2)

I realize that I have repeatedly emphasized that I prefer it when bands stick to one sound, but I admit that there are hazards with this approach. I believe this is referred to as “diminishing returns.” Perseverate at your own risk, I guess, particularly when you have a very distinctive sound. I don’t think this is the case with Clinic . . . at least as of this second album, but afterwards, yes, I did grow a bit weary.

What I Think of This Album

More of the same? I don’t know. I don’t care. I like this album and if you don’t, that’s fine, too. This is another unnerving listen from Clinic and I think that it works, even if it is not as striking as the debut, but that’s sort of the nature of debuts. When your first baby projectile vomits on you, it’s noteworthy; when your second-born does, it’s not entirely unexpected.

This sophomore effort opens with an Exorcist-like arrangement to “Harmony;” Ade Blackburn implores you to “fill yourself with dreams” but the music is far less life-affirming than that. I was half-expecting a Clash-inspired sound to “The Equalizer,” but no – this is a groove-heavy number with a clattery percussion track that sounds like a pawn shop in an earthquake (but is actually based around a sample of “Iko Iko” by the Dixie Cups, reminiscent of how Suicide sometimes based their songs on doo wop).

The band gets almost dancey on “Welcome,” with a lively rhythm part, but the organ shrieks and Blackburn’s intensely desperate vocals evoke night sweats more than nightclubs. The title track is another paranoid, suffocating classic – the rounds of snare hits that culminate with Blackburn’s anguished “No!” are chilling. The title “Pet Eunuch” provides the only moment of humor on this album – the song itself is a terrifying freefall down an airshaft lined with vintage keyboards and errant guitar strings.

The few quieter tracks are less successful, and “Vulture” doesn’t really connect. Also, the band seems to be going through the motions on “Sunlight Bathes Our House;” this song is like B+ Clinic. Things improve with the driving “The Bridge,” which has some surprisingly conventional, almost classic rock, guitar in it.

I can’t tell you how much Clinic you need in your life, but if you want more after the debut, this is the album I would pick.

The Best Thing About This Album

I am enamored of the creatively used sample on “The Equalizer.”

Release Date

February, 2002

The Cover Art

There is a “drunk Mondrian” quality to this that I find very appealing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑