Clinic – Fantasy Island

Liverpool’s Clinic have always been of their singular own, not sounding like anybody else....
Clinic : Fantasy Island
7.8 Domino
2021 
Clinic : Fantasy Island

Liverpool’s Clinic have always been of their singular own, not sounding like anybody else, with their vintage organs and singer Ade Blackburn’s clenched-teeth singing. But that’s allowed them to wander in their own sandbox, doing different spins on their signature style. 2019’s hiatus return Wheeltappers and Shunters (QRO review) saw them tap into Britain’s sleazy seventies, and now the band brings more of a tropical feel with Fantasy Island.

[note: Clinic started wearing their surgical masks when they started two decades ago, and fashion has finally caught up with them. They’re as COVID ready as any band, up there with The Vaccines – or your correspondent’s high school band, Quaranteen…]

The new style added isn’t laid on heavy, more of a palm tree backdrop (like Liverpool’s Liver Building falling into the warm waters near the Equator on Island’s cover). There is still classic Clinic organs in “Fine Dining” or “Hocus Pocus”, and their unique press to the title track (QRO review). Indeed, “Refractions (in the Rain)” is kind of sci-fi, Clinic style, while there is also a spoken relaxation smooth “On the Other Side…”.

Clinic are never going to break out big, but they’re also never going to go away, and have managed to have a unique sound without just completely repeating themselves. Put an umbrella in your drink (but still wear your mask) for Fantasy Island.

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Album Reviews