Clinic | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


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British art-rock bands usually get more populist with each record, and sure enough, both this Liverpool quartet's 2002 breakout album, Walking With Thee, and 2004's Winchester Cathedral were more accessible than its debut. But Clinic's fourth full-length, Visitations (Domino), diverges from that trajectory, moving away from experimental pop and toward darker, rawer soundscapes that recall the distorted drone-and-dirge of White Light/White Heat and Unknown Pleasures. The album hollows out a bleak, cavernous space with tracks like "Animal/Human" and "Family," which builds from a snaky guitar line and an apocalyptic tribal rhythm to a dramatic denouement that sounds like a bass drum full of gasoline being detonated. (We seem to hear the clattering aftermath through mikes blown right out of their stands, swinging limply from their cords.) But despite the generally sinister feel of the disc, there's a satisfying amount of diversity too--the outliers range from the barn-burning "Tusk" to the pensive, slinky "Paradise." Each song builds on the mood of the previous one, making for an album that rewards listeners who'll stay with it from beginning to end. a 7 PM, Apple Store, 679 N. Michigan, 312-981-4104. F A


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