Visitations (Domino)

Clinic: Visitations

The members of England's Clinic are up to their surgical masks in Nuggets-worthy psychedelic splendor on Visitations, from the bass-driven pulse of the opening track, "Family" — whose instrumental section could practically pass for the Yardbirds paying tribute to the Far East — to the dark narcotic haze that hovers over "Gideon." On "Animal/Human," the band sounds like it's covering some old Phil Spector girl-group classic while fried on acid. (With an unexpected Shaft guitar break and Ade Blackburn slurring every word, you may think you're on acid, too.) "Paradise" crawls like the Drifters on cough syrup under the boardwalk, and Clinic signs off with a haunting ballad, the album's title track. But the parts of Visitations that flat-out rock are often just as brilliant, if closer in spirit to the Seeds side of the Nuggets tracks — from "Children of Kellogg," whose loping bass is pretty much a mirror image of the first cut, to the thrashing garage-punk abandon of "Tusk" (a track you won't confuse with Fleetwood Mac). It may not appear on as many year-end lists as the group's earliest efforts, but you won't find many more-inspired artyfacts from this, the modern psychedelic era.
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