Release Date: Apr 8, 2008
Record label: Domino
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Clinic chug along like a coal-burning engine churning out thick black smoke on Do It!, working further into their cryptically dour art-punk/psych/soul/folk niche. Granted, that's a pretty specific niche, but as on their previous album, Visitations, it feels more like a groove than a rut. More than most bands, Clinic write songs in styles, and Do It! features most of their quintessential types: the excellent "Corpus Christi" is a menacing, whispery slow-burner like Walking with Thee's "Come into Our Room" before it, with a singsong lilt that makes it all the creepier; "Emotions" is one of Clinic's soulful ballads, this time boasting a thick fuzz bassline that runs through the song like a scratch; and "Shopping Bag" is this album's version of the band's noise-punk outbursts, now with a shrieking saxophone solo.
One of the outstanding vagaries of the canon of great rock music is the fact that it's possible to be both a thoroughbred and a one-trick pony. For instance, you won't win many friends by suggesting that AC/DC or Motorhead would be so much better if only they'd done the occasional ballad once in a while, and even the Ramones were on about their fifth album before they deigned to bother with what was effectively a second song. Mind you, they're all from rather more innocent times – in an age where it's become commonplace to demand the genre-jumping of a Radiohead (or at the very least a Goldfrapp), is there any place for the consistency of Clinic? It always seemed likely that there would be, given the strength of their initial template.
As its shadows draw ever longer, the music of the late '60s and early '70s looks as though it may never go entirely out of fashion. This stuff (acid rock, cosmopolitan pop and the cold, disorienting funk of Can and company) emerged from an era of creative and material plenty. Its combination of ambitious, abstract optimism and stinging mortal terror remains relatable to most people on some level.