Clinic – Stream the New Album | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Clinic – Stream the New Album

Wheeltappers and Shunters Out Now via Domino

May 10, 2019
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Liverpool post-punks Clinic have released their first new album in seven years, Wheeltappers and Shunters, today via their longtime label Domino. Now that the album is out, you can stream the whole thing below.

Previously they shared a video for its first single, "Rubber Bullets," which was one of our Songs of the Week. Then they shared another song from the album, opening track "Laughing Cavalier," also via a Joseph May-directed animated video (it was also one of our Songs of the Week).

The band's last album was 2012's Free Reign. "We'd released albums like clockwork every two years, so it seemed natural to have a break," explained frontman Ade Blackburn in a  previous press release about the long gap between albums. "It allowed everyone to do some quite oddball stuff, away from Clinic. I think we all wanted a bit more freedom."

Wheeltappers and Shunters' album title is inspired by a 1970s British variety show The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club, which was hosted by Bernard Manning and according to the press release "recreated the smoky, boozy atmosphere of Northern working men's clubs for a sofa-bound audience."

"It's been a pisstake thing between us for quite a few years," Blackburn explained. "Whenever we'd talk about a song sounding too 'cabaret' or too nice, we'd say, 'That's a bit Wheeltappers and Shunters.'"

Wheeltappers and Shunters looks back on the culture 1970s era Blackburn and "his collaborator-in-chief" Jonathan Hartley grew up in. "It's a satirical take on British culture - high and low," Blackburn said. "It fascinates me that people look back on the 1970s as the glory days. It's emerged that there was a darker, more perverse side to that time. When you look back on it now it was quite clearly there in mainstream culture."

The previous press release set the scene for Wheeltappers and Shunters: "The Great Britain that Clinic are evoking is not that ancient, bucolic past of village green cricket, half a mild and hanky-waving Morris Dancers that many seem so determined that the country should return to, but a rather more sleazy past. Clinic's reverie is for a time when Blackpool was the pleasure capital of the kingdom and the public was kept entertained by traveling circuses and the dirty glamour of the funfair; tacky end of the pier merriment and enforced fun at Butlins; when bell-ringing town criers bellowed their nonsensical broadsides into the ether."

The album was recorded last year at Hartley's Liverpool studio. Then Dilip Harris (King Krule, Sons of Kemet, Mount Kimbie) mixed the album. "We thought it felt right to make a fun, dancefloor album in these dark and conservative times," said Blackburn. 

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