Most British bands don't bother to cross the pond without new product to plug, yet here comes Liverpool's own Clinic months prior to the appearance of its forthcoming album, set for stateside release later this year. Thus far, advance recordings of the new material haven't been made available to the press; fans who attend dates on the combo's current fourteen-city U.S. mini-tour will get the first samples. Nonetheless, the earlier discs made by bandmates Ade Blackburn, Brian Campbell, Carl Turney and the uni-monikered Hartley offer reason for optimism about the next one. The four-piece's most recent long-player, 2002's Walking With Thee, doesn't exactly eschew guitars, as the title cut and the power-chord-happy "Pet Eunuch" demonstrate. However, electronic and acoustic keyboards, supplemented by the occasional melodica, flute or clarinet, dominate songs such as "The Equaliser" and "Mr. Moonlight," which give off a distinctively creepy vibe. So, too, does "The Vulture," a menacing ditty that figuratively turns "Nita and her black-haired mother" into a carrion buffet. The theme of this last number may explain why Low Flying Owls, another excellent outfit, is also on the bill. Whatever the case, the new Clinic definitely deserves a thorough examination.


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