Review Summary: A great album that may take a few listens to get into.
There comes a time in a bands lifetime that they think "Wasn't it so much better when we started?"
It is at this point in time that Clinic recorded "Visitations". The album is a different take than the past two albums, focusing more on the Indie sound and frantic Guitar that made "Internal Wrangler" so popular. The album gives of the experimental impression that the first album gave off, but at the same time is strangely superior, despite the sometimes annoying sampling involved.
Track by Track Review:
Family - 4/5
The opener of the album is a no holds barred guitar fuelled anthem. "So what you family's better? What if your family's better?" the singer screams through clenched teeth. Definitely could have been a single. The only downside is that the guitar seems to not have a steady line, constantly changing and giving a sense of "incomplete"
Animal/Human - 3/5
A slower track than the first. The band seem to get into a grove throughout, building from the melodica at the start that stays constant. Again, the tracks biggest fall is its unpredictability. It seems to be a random mess of instruments and unfinished guitar lines. The Wah-Wah guitar line seems the highlight, even though I wouldn't personally say it builds to anything.
Gideon - 5/5
Definately a highlight of the album. From the opening guitar line to the creepy "Oohs", this track is a wonder throughout. The highlight of the track is the chorus, where after the final world a Tremelo/Distortion guitar bursts forward, unsettling the listener. One of the few tracks on the album that appears to have been set out the way it was intended. The build up is superb.
Harvest (Within You) - 4.5/5
Opening with a gong, this track has an experimental feel all the way through. The bass line really keeps the track together. The backing vocals provide a great sense of finality to the track. It would definitely be incomplete without it. The less is more guitar line seems to be the only downfall of the track, as towards the end it seems to play something that the track didn't really need. One of the more sing-along songs on the album.
Tusk - 4/5
Another frantic guitar track that seems to be cut short, coming in at less than 2 minutes. The vocals are the highlight here, which are a rare jump forward from the usual clenched teeth approach, as he is practically screaming at times.
Paradise - 5/5
Some more sampling going on at the beginning, but from the starting bass line and the melodica, you can tell this track is going to be good. The song gives a rare happy and calm vibe that the band hasn't seen since "For The Wars" on "Walking With Thee". Vocals seem to be at their best here, however reverb drenched they may be. Another less is more guitar line that complements the song well.
Children of Kellog - 4.5/5
Opening with yet another sample, this track is another guitar fuelled journey through the poetic nature of the singer. The vocals seem too soft for the track however, which should have been one of those screaming vocal takes. The guitar work is confident here and looks as though it was planned down to the last tremelo layered second of guitar.
If You Could Read Your Mind - 3.5/5
Sounds a bit like a song from "Internal Wrangler" in the sense that it actually uses the same riff! Opens with what sounds like a wind chime, this track spews menace. Lyrically, the song is great. But it's just too much of the same. The song appears to repeat a bit much with the constant guitar line. The guitar solo should really have been the end of the song, as after that it appears to get VERY repetitive.
Jigsaw Man - 5/5
Opening with one of the strangest, yet most original acoustic guitar lines I've ever heard, this track is the best on the album, closely followed by "Gideon" and "Visitations". at around the 1.20 mark the track reveals a more percussive approach, then another guitar comes in adding a finalised touch to the album. Lyrically, the song is one of the strongest on here.
Interlude - -/5
Not really a song, just whispers of "Visitations"
The New Seeker - 2.5/5
The most drum fuelled track on the album, this track is essentially filler though. This is where the Stop-Start mechanics of most of the songs on the album becomes overused and tiring. The same vocal approach is used on 4-5 other tracks on the album already. Shouldn't really have been on the album.
Visitations - 5/5
Another highlight. The track begins with a menacing ascending / descending guitar line that continues throughout. This is the strongest track on the album lyrically and instrumentally. The tremolo-ed guitar makes it's final subtle appearance here, adding a finishing touch to the album. The song is made for a grove throughout, so it doesn't really build up to anything. One of the best on the album.
Harvest (Within You)
For the More Dedicated Fan:
The New Seeker
Children of Kellog