clinic

Produced by the band themselves in their hometown of Liverpool and mixed with the assistance of Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never), Free Reign is an extremely apt title for a particularly bold and assured new transmission from planet Clinic. In the fifteen years since the release of the irrepressible band’s debut EP, Ade Blackburn and co. have essentially delivered an exquisite master-class in fearless singularity – consistently and steadfastly pushing the frontiers of their perfectly-defined, next-dimension pop trips on their own trajectory over the course of six, and now seven, confoundingly magnificent albums. A Grammy nomination, performance on The David Letterman Show, high profile tours with fans such as The Flaming Lips, Radiohead and Arcade Fire and a lot of reverence from notable artists – both established and emergent – over the years have seen Clinic flirt with the mainstream and be cemented into cult firmament alike, without ever really courting either acceptance directly. Their craft, one that has always bloomed in isolation and seemed impervious to the fickle tide of trend or fad, remains both resolutely eclectic and acutely focused. The junkshop-trawling analogue fetishism of the warm, smokey instrumentation that gives their songs such a vividly placeable sense of mood and atmosphere; the surrealist bent of Blackburn’s lyrics – so steeped in their own personal mythology – and the band’s over-riding commitment to never straying into the realm of the obvious or complacent are all long-standing elements of Clinic’s work that are furthered, perfected even, on Free Reign.