Album Review: Clinic – Bubblegum (Domino)

A foray into a softer, acoustic sound doesn't do Clinic any harm, but may polarise fans of their sharper, electro back catalogue

[a]Clinic[/a] would probably take umbrage at being described as veterans, but the sixth release in their 13th year certainly points towards a certain mellowing. ‘Lion Tamer’ (which doesn’t so much doff its cap at Beefheart as rob him at knifepoint), ‘Orangutan’ and ‘Evelyn’ aside, ‘Bubblegum’ largely ditches the acerbic, electric sound of old in favour of the acoustic-led meditations and slow, surfy numbers that used to knit their albums together rather than drive them. It’s far from bad, but if you’re still waiting for a [a]Clinic[/a] record as great as the utterly seminal ‘Internal Wrangler’, keep waiting, and probably don’t hold your breath.

Rob Webb

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