You can't say this too often about a band, so take heed: Clinic sounds like the menacing street punks of "A Clockwork Orange" reimagined as a brooding art-rock band. The four men from Liverpool sound as dandy, detached, and, well, as clinical as their image suggests. They sport three-piece suits, derby hats, and surgical masks in press photos and in concert, for goodness' sake. Their last album, 2002's "Walking With Thee," snared serious fans who appreciated the band's thumping drums and slithering melodica solos. With Clinic's latest, "Winchester Cathedral" (which, for the record, is worlds removed from the sunny delight of the New Vaudeville Band's lone '60s hit of the same name), those fans should return in droves, since the album is nearly a carbon copy of "Walking With Thee." The big drums are here, the melodica still keeps the beat, and electric-guitar riffs storm up and down the scales. Ade Blackburn's seething vocals make you think he's grimacing on every song, as if he can barely contain his rage through a mouth full of cotton. "Falstaff," the album's first US single, is a bit of an oddity, smooth and sauntering with backup vocals that vaguely reference some sweet '60s love song, maybe even Linda Ronstadt's "Ooh Baby Baby." Clinic doesn't tread new paths here, but it's still on pretty solid ground. Clinic plays the Paradise Rock Club on Nov. 9.
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