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Album Review | ROCK

Clinic, ‘Free Reign’

Devotedly digging into a certain sound hasn’t stopped Liverpool’s Clinic from fully realizing the potential implied by the title of its seventh album. Thanks, in part, to Sudbury native and co-mixer Daniel Lopatin (lately more well known as vibe-conjuring electronic artist Oneohtrix Point Never), the sound of “Free Reign” is both fantastically new and classic Clinic. Wah guitars crisscross in the air and singer Ade Blackburn’s spectral incantations pass through what feels like a light-year of reverb atop the deep, dubby bass throb of “Cosmic Radiation” (which really could have been another title option for the album). But surprise textures abound: The flanged out psych-garage of “See Saw” is cut through with a stripe of slinky clarinet. Organs flicker like dying fluorescents in the simmering drone of opener “Misty.” And the tinny slow-dance tap of “For the Season” is aloft in glowing guitars passed through lilting filters — it’s the album’s prettiest stretch. In an indie-rock realm where sticking to it can often be another form of giving up, Clinic’s spell only grows stronger the more they repeat it. (Out Tuesday)

ESSENTIAL “Cosmic Radiation”

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