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internal wrangler
Clinic
Internal Wrangler
Domino

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Absolutely essential!

Do you still want to read on? You know Iím going to praise this CD Ďtil it bleeds. Every last glowing adjective will be justified, if not required. Internal Wrangler demands broad statements of acclaim. It is superb, for one, because it makes you feel like the coolest person on Earth every time you listen to it. Itís a coming-out party on the level of My Bloody Valentine's Loveless.

How might one describe the sound? It's like existential, drugged-out spy-movie music, with twisted (sometimes to the point of gibberish) vocals. Imagine The Pixies playing with The Velvet Underground, as produced by Joe Meek. Mix Add N to (X) with The Beta Band and you are starting to get the idea, if you understand that both of those bands pale in comparison to Clinic; it's like comparing vomit to champagne.

The first sign of greatness is "The Return of Evil Bill", which is simply horrifically cool. Other than a couple of very brief interludes, which never outstay their welcome, each song makes a similarly brilliant statement. Iím not going to list every song; just know that theyíre all worthy of "classic" status -- in a perfect world. There are distorted tracks that scream in your face, such as "2/4"; there are screwy, touching ballads, such as "Earth Angel". Somehow, it's all extremely accessible.

This is my favorite CD of the year, and I've listened to many, many excellent CDs. Youíre probably not going to meet up with gaggles of Clinic fans, and maybe thatís for the best. Itís that whole idea where you get to have a favorite band thatís far outside the scope of the popular culture of your country (Clinic are from Liverpool, by the way). On a strange note, Iím pretty sure I read that "The Second Line" was used in a Leviís (or some other jeans company) commercial in the UK. Very funny and perhaps subversive, I think.

Cool? Yes. Trailblazing? Yes. Absolutely damn essential? Donít make me say it again.

-- Tim DiGravina
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