Having originally proven themselves as one of the UK's most proficient and prolific psych-rock outfits this side of the 2000s, Liverpool's Clinic have been uncharacteristically quiet these past few years. Despite an extensive start to their career, which saw them release seven well-received studio albums in the space of twelve years, the group has been silent since their 2012 full-length 'Full Reign', adding fuel to the fire that they had finally run out of steam. But now the four-piece have returned with their eighth LP 'Wheeltappers And Shunters', a record that has trouble getting itself moving at times.
From the start, it seems that 'Wheeltappers And Shunters' is very much a love it or hate it record. The band's deliberately laid-back guise within the psych-rock sound means their is never much energy to speak of within their music, but instead we are treated to a wave of swooning and sombre cuts, usually less than three minutes in length, that find it hard to peak our interest. At twelve tracks and only twenty-six minutes in length, the album has this rushed feeling about it, where rather than let any of their new ideas develop and expand upon, they are over before we could have a chance for them to get settled.
It may have been seven years since their last collection, but 'Wheeltappers And Shunters' hardly feels like they have been spending much of that time working on it. An interesting and broad purpose throughout, but one that never feels like it has been fully realised, leaving us consistently wanting to hear more.