CLINIC – “The Castle” (B-Side of The Return Of Evil Bill CD Single)
The thing everybody says about Clinic is how much like the Velvet Underground they sound. Well, pardon me for saying so, but the VU were never fronted by anyone as tongues-talking or airy-voiced as the Clinic guy, and in general the VU weren’t as succinct or catchy as Clinic are, either. Anyway, doing a creditable Velvets imitation is pretty much a foundation stone of the whole indie tradition, and one sadly neglected of late, too. Clinic songs are dynamic and impenetrable, rolling and tight, three-minute artpop punches which stand outsiderishly out in an independent landscape where everyone else is trying so hard to say something or be something. Clinic aren’t saying anything: they take a hook, a bit of organ fuzz, a pose, that’s all and that’s enough. Best of all, I can’t quite work out why Clinic are doing what they’re doing, or where they’re going to take it, and that’s rare enough these days to be exciting.