Clinic

Ade Blackburn ( keyboards, melodica, vocals )
Brian Campbell ( bass, flute, vocals )
Hartley ( guitar, clarinet, keyboards )
Carl Turney ( drums, piano, backing vocals )

Ade, Hartley, Brian and Carl are from Liverpool, but that's where the similarity with any other quartet ends. In fact, Clinic sound like The Beatles never happened, as if pop remained in permanent thrall to Joe Meek before jumping straight to Studio One dub. Or as if The Shangri-Las drifted into Crime.

Because Clinic sound like no other band. As individual as Suicide or The Monks, as self-sufficient as The Residents, they describe a twilit place: the streets surrounding John Carpenter's Precinct 13, the disco on the inhabited side of the moon. It's a sinisterly sexy locale, with a dark sense of humour, and it's fully explored on their brilliant second album, Walking With Thee.

An iced electric piano invites us into the deserted nite-club of Harmony. The haunting bleat of a melodica bids us Welcome. And if these tunes, and the chilling Come Into Our Room, describe a Hitchcockian calm, then the antic clatter of The Equaliser, the nicely negative title track and the ferocious Pet Eunuch embrace the subsequent storm.

As Welcome inquires: "Who would you disintegrate for?" Clinic have found fanatical new followers all over the world in the last year since the release of their debut album, Internal Wrangler, and Radiohead's invitation to accompany them on their recent tours. This record, co-produced with Ben Hillier is their defining moment. Love it to pieces.

Clinic also played at...