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A Magazine for Sheffield

Clinic Fantasy Island

Clinic’s ninth long-form offering follows up on 2019’s Wheeltappers and Shunters, and takes us to a place where nothing’s quite as it seems.

Released: 22 October 2021
Fantasy Island

With a title as appealing as Fantasy Island it’s hard not to want to go there, unless we’re talking about Skegness’ infamous amusement park. From the start of the album it feels like you’ve stumbled into one of those late-night cabaret tents in the most hidden parts of Glastonbury – except this is the kind of cabaret where you’re likely to find Fun Boy Three and Spacemen 3 on the bill.

Even though Clinic look to the future on this album, it’s retro in terms of production value and ethos. That’s no easy thing to do well, but the band pull it off. The deep pulse of the kick-drum on ‘Fine Dining’ underpins a heavy synthpop and narcotic disco sound. This has been made possible after the group expanded their studio arsenal with the addition of several new gadgets, including an electronic acid bass machine, a 1970s cocktail rhythm unit, a Casio digital horn and a space drum.

We’re treated to a cover version of Ann Peebles’ classic ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’, which doesn’t detract from the rest of the album and retains that feeling of ‘expect the unexpected’, as sonic blasts build up in intensity. ‘On The Other Side...’ is pure nineties trip-hop, as we’re immersed into a hypnotic, chilled state of mind in the style of artists like Mr Scruff and Thievery Corporation.

Fantasy Island was recorded in an old studio on Merseyside during the summer of 2019, and it’s the title track that stands out. Elements of Suicide, acid house and that heavy kick once again work together to create a powerful audio explosion that brings Fantasy Island to its zenith.