No band better exemplifies the Curse of the Perfect Debut than Clinic. Leaving aside a self-titled CD collecting their early singles, the Liverpool quartet began with 2000's Internal Wrangler, one of those albums that record geeks of a certain stripe live for—a mad, endlessly replayable compendium of sonic devices citing a dead-on assortment of historical landmarks that moves so fast but packs in so much you're alternately shocked and relieved it's only a half-hour long. Internal Wrangler exposed every trick Clinic have up their collective sleeve, setting the band's subsequent work up for failure. How do you reinvent a sound that's already constantly reinvented itself song to song? How do you top the moment when your enthusiasm for those tricks comes through most vividly?

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Do It! isn't going to provide many answers, because, like most of Clinic's work since Wrangler, it's a fine album that realigns the debut's tires but does basically nothing to the chassis. There's a song that can't help but resemble a brisker Radiohead, thanks to the similarity Ade Blackburn's stuffy mewl bears to Thom Yorke's ("Winged Wheel"). There's the opulent psychedelic track that still sounds like it was recorded in a garage ("Coda"). There are bruised, moody ballads against whose contours Brian Campbell's bass pins Blackburn's falsetto ("Emotions"). There's jungle-boogie garage rock with post–Albert Ayler saxophone ("Shopping Bag").

Clinic may be digging through the same drawer they plucked their previous albums from, but hearing jumbled-up Wire, Augustus Pablo, Ennio Morricone, snarling proto-punk, and Terry Riley (to begin with) done skillfully and with an active sensibility is still no bad thing. It all adds to the possibilities for what I trust will be one fuck of a best-of. Just don't ask me to stop reaching for Internal Wrangler.

Clinic play Fri May 16, Neumo's, 8 pm, $13 adv, 21+. With Shearwater.

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