Monday, May 17, at the Bottleneck. Also Saturday, May 15, at the Blue Note.

Clinic 

Monday, May 17, at the Bottleneck. Also Saturday, May 15, at the Blue Note.

It's time for rock aesthetes to hoist a pint of stout to the British and their loss-leading attempts to break bands on these indifferent shores. Somehow, we're lucky enough to get Clinic's Liverpudlian art-punk, which is alternately scary and gorgeous, cranked-up and synthy. Too often, the group is compared to Radiohead, with which it shares a daft ennui and little else. These guys still write songs, see, and they don't seem ashamed of that career path. Better yet, Clinic's experimentation -- some screechy madness, light dub, harmonium flourishes -- never blunts the rock thrills, giving us odd-angled tunes that hit the brain as hard as the solar plexus. That the group's latest disc hasn't yet been released stateside shouldn't dampen the show; frequent surprises are what made Clinic's first two efforts such a pleasure. And then there's the dress-up bonus: twitty Brit suits and Michael Jackson surgical masks.

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