If you've been missing the dulcet tones of the rock clarinet, never fear: Clinic is back.
If you've been missing the dulcet tones of the rock clarinet, never fear: Clinic is back. The Liverpool, England, quartet made its mark in the United States two years ago, when second full-length "Walking With Thee" earned a Grammy Award nomination as best alternative album. Lured by that clarinet (and a melodica), critics tripped over themselves to sing the band's praises. Expect the same for "Winchester Cathedral." Working with Sigur Rós producer Ken Thomas, Clinic continues to wrap its post-punk jitter around a surprisingly tender core (opener "Country Mile," lead single "Circle of Fifths"). Occasionally, the tenderness seeps through into a ballad-like exoskeleton ("Home," "Falstaff"). But the band mostly camouflages its catchy melodies amid metronome-like percussion and lead singer/ guitarist Ade Blackburn's nasal sneer. Don't be fooled by the surface tension, however: You'll be humming along with the clarinet in no time.—JM