Despite the surgical masks and scrubs that the members don for publicity photos, the Liverpool art-punk quartet Clinic is fairly gimmick-free. Their up-to-the-minute DIY aesthetic — built around melodicas rather than guitars, drum kits rather than drum machines — places familiar musical ideas in a context that sounds new. More jittery and bracing than their first album, the already classic “Internal Wrangler,” their new one, “Walking With Thee,” confronts sophomore expectations with more self-consciousness but no loss of immediacy.

Ade Blackburn’s habit of singing through his teeth and the spare instrumentation combine to give the record an atmosphere of sinister tension. Though not as eclectic a collection as the first album, the songs are better focused, often catching a melody-based groove and riding it to the end without interruption.

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