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Free Reign

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 13, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Free Reign is Clinic's release their seventh album. They recorded and produced it themselves in their hometown of Liverpool and mixed it with the assistance of Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never). Free Reign is an extremely apt title for a particularly bold and assured new transmission from planet Clinic. In the fifteen years since they began they have delivered an exquisite masterclass in fearless singularity. Free Reign neither turns its back on the sound of previous albums nor seeks to recreate them. They continue incorporating simple melodies with their trademark propulsive rhythms.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 13, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Domino
  • ASIN: B009A9EOVI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,764 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Jack Tripper VINE VOICE on November 19, 2012
Format: Audio CD
There are two things you used to always be able to count on when it came to Liverpool's Clinic: 1. If its an even-numbered year, you can bet they've either released or are about to release a new album that year, and 2. Their new album will sound pretty much exactly as you expected it to sound, with a few subtle changes here and there. That first one still holds true, but over the last couple releases, the second one has not.

Clinic's brand of dark, artsy post-punk received somewhat of a pop injection on their last album, 2010's 'Bubblegum," an album that could almost be described as "catchy," at times even "beautiful." On the aptly titled (once again) 'Free Reign,' they move into new territory yet again, with an album that is, without a doubt, their most tripped-out yet, and one that could be argued is their most creative and consistent since their 2000 full-length debut, 'Internal Wrangler.'

While their roots in Joy Division and Suicide are still very apparent, openers "Misty" and "See Saw" find Clinic mining Spacemen 3-type droning atmospherics as well, and to good effect, especially when combined with the propulsive beats and haunting vocals. This blissful-yet-spaced-out vibe never really lets up throughout the album's 40 minutes, resulting in a listening experience that is ready-made for late night headphone journeys.

The near-epic "Miss You" is another good example, with swirling keyboards and synths intertwining with a repeating, circular guitar lead that, altogether, tickles some musical funnybone in the brain, sending at least this listener off into a euphoric hypnotized state that I wasn't ready to come down from. Good thing the chill, jazzy "For the Season" provides the perfect bridge back to the deep innerspace of the final three tracks.
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Format: Audio CD
Clinic's Free Reign is a cool, but never cold, psychedelic rock record. The album cover art matches the songs - trippy, somewhat minimalistic, but engaging. I'd be interested to see what this band could do if they really let it rip once or twice per record. As is, however, this more-than-mood-music release is well worth a few spins.
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Format: Audio CD
Think of a combination of early Love & Rockets with Spacemen 3, sprinkled with some Tuxedo Moon sax = Perfect combination in a very enjoyable album...
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