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Music: Bubblegum by Clinic * *

There are about-turns, and then there's this dramatic change of direction from the below-radar Liverpool band. Clinic's stock in trade was dark, sinister electro-rock -- live shows featured the members garbed in surgical masks and smocks. Now, as the title hints, they've gone pop. And it doesn't really work.

Ade Blackburn is the problem. His monotone vocals and bored delivery just don't suit the, ahem, bubblegum soundscape. The dichotomy is just too jarring.

Clinic are on surer ground when the music takes a darker turn. Lion Tamer is a twisted, unclassifiable piece while Radiostory has a spoken-worded delivery that's every bit as unsettling as Radiohead's Fitter Happier.

Burn it: Lion Tamer

Irish Independent