Search The Line of Best Fit
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Clinic – Bubblegum
05 October 2010, 10:00 Written by Adrian Mules

Those sneering, sinister, Liverpudlian lads from Clinc are back with their sixth album. Championed by Peel, the surgical mask sporting quartet, always sounded as if they were plotting the most evil of plans whist they recorded. Their previous five albums of Velvet Underground-esque strutting consistently offered a challenging and spite-ridden soundtrack that found them fans all over the world. So alarm bells began to ring when the title of Bubblegum was announced; soon followed suggestions that this was their “pop” album. An army of shadow dwellers fell to their knees and shook their withered fist at their once dark masters.

But the fear that those who once discharged waves of malevolence with every chord change had somehow seen the light is unfounded. As, although this is their most sedate album, it’s also their most mature and their exploration of melody over malice makes it their most interesting. From this softer staring point they branch out in multiple diverse directions and make every journey a rewarding one.

‘Linda’ is a simple but solid acoustic gem, ‘Un Astronauta En Cielo’ embraces the heart & soul of French pop and lead single ‘I’m Aware’ combines subtle orchestration with a pop melody to tremendous effect. Those three selections just scrape the surface of Bubblegum’s charms. Such a dense volume of ideas in such a small space could have been extremely messy, but even when the spoken word Mills and Boon inspired ‘Radiostory’ kicks in; it feels like an essential component of this sugar-coated jigsaw.

There are pieces that rock, those that beep and some that are seriously fucking groovy, but without exception they all swagger and simmer with a vivacious energy. Ideas, ambition and quality align then slot into place to form a picture of the sun with its hat well and truly on. Of course they may just be softening us up and providing a distraction as they near completion of their orbital-space-doomsday-machine. But until the great king of terror descends from the sky you’ll find us pirouetting through fields of wheat as Bubblegum plays.

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