Friday, August 15, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 348 - Clinic Internal Wrangler

Album – Internal Wrangler
Artist - Clinic
Key Players – Carl Turney – drums, percussion, piano, backing vocals. Jonathan Hartley – guitar, clarient, keyboards. Brian Campbell – bass, flute, backing vocals. Ade Blackburn – keyboard, melodica, lead vocals.

Produced By – Gareth Jones and Clinic

Release Date – May 1, 2000

Overview – The band had its earliest formation as far back as 1984 Hartley and Blackburn made demos and worked their way slowly up. By 1999 the band was singed to a label and released this record, its first full length studio album. The quirky keyboard sound is the bands trademark and the off tempos kept the music interesting to many. The garage rock feel was prominent and they'd continue to release a steady stream of records. This early one was a critical smash and audiences took notice.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – This is a pretty short one. 14 tracks just over 30 minutes. Opens with “Voodoo Wop” a funky bass line and conga drums slowly build before fuzzy guitars buzz in and out and slight “ohhhhs” compliment the keyboards that build with it. The bands big trade mark is the sound of these quirky and funny, almost toy like instruements. After the build up it changes direction, mellows out to a swing drum/piano as it wraps up."The Return of Evil Bill"  opens with keyboards and then the odd tempo of the track unfolds. Blackburn begins to sing in sort of a haunting, unassuming style. The track has a build to it, but never really seems to break out. It is unlike many things you've heard before. Almost impossible to narrow down. The third longest track on the record comes in the title track, “Internal Wrangler”. Clocking in at a whopping 3:03. The track seems a bit out of focus but the swiringling keyboards are almost diorienting to the listener. There is a lot going on here and Turney gets over on the ride cymbal pushing things at his pace. “DJ Shangri-La” is a 52 seconds interlude type track. A mechanic metronome, some keyboards and basic drum line. A transition track leading to “The Second Line”. A bit more of an electric drum tempo with the bass and drums working in tandem. Again Blackburn is hushed but relies on the backing vocals for a hushed delivery. The tracks each stand on their own and the mix is interesting, in that bass might be heavy on one track, the next organ is heavier. The vocals never seem pushed up though. “C.Q.” is a loud and rowdy track. It almost sounds like a demo track with so much noise thrown at you. Its over in just over a minute which is the bands homage to punk rock one has to assume. Sticking with the 2 letter song titles we get"T.K." next. This is a track that is easy to get your feet tapping. A heavy focus on the drum line laid out with layered with those funky keyboards. Campbell continues to be impressive with the bass lines.  “Earth Angel” is a rare track in that it clocks over 3 minutes. Hartley seems to get his due here, with a simple and pretty guitar intro. Samples of crashing waves compliment Blackburn vocally who is really in no rush at all. Campbell finds his groove and the track is just a smooth ride. “Distortions” has the honor of being the longest track, at 4:01! Keyboards and a simple drum track are under Blackburn and again the band seems in no rush. This is the bands “ballad” track, we get the flute for the first time here. “Hippy Death Suite” is a big change from the prior track. Back to that garage punk rock feel. The track is instrumental and just builds in speed for its short duration. “2nd Foot Stomp” has the off tempo drums and keyboards and Blackburn is even more buried in the mix vocally.  "2/4"  might be one of the more unique intros with the frantic bass, guitar, drums, keyboards and vocals. Its not often you hear that crunchy keyboard, listen for yourself.... There is a four second 'track” before the final track “Goodnight Georgie” begins. A quieter album closer than one might (well me at least) might want or expect.

Where are they now? - The band is now 7 studio records deep and going strong. The band members today are the same as the debut. They continue to perform live as well.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - There are some really cool moments on this record, and the band overall is fun to listen to. Its not like something you hear all that often.

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Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


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