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FN349 The Clean - Unknown Country (1996)
Recorded and mixed in two sessions during 1996, The Clean yet again prove to be masters of musical innovation, three guys who can only amaze when they come together and throw all their ideas down on tape. And as a mood of supreme grooviness is all-pervading on Unknown Country, this is The Clean at their most timeless.
"Unknown Country could well be The Clean's best album ever. The odd pop songs focus on the tension and the release that characteristic of psychedlic rock although 'Champagne and Misery' stays close The Clean's canon, 'Wipe Me I'm Lucky' experiments shyly, and 'Walk Walk' is warped like a cartoon soundtrack."
- Pierre Scaruffi, The History of Rock Music
David Kilgour on Unknown Country:
The Clean always wanna try something different, but on this LP, we were obsessed with the idea. Tracks like “Wipe Me, I’m Lucky” and “Franz Kafka at the Zoo” are fine examples of the approach, I reckon. Quite a long way from “Tally Ho!” and “Beatnik”!
I remember we generally left vocal ideas to last, after the tracks were recorded, so we never really knew where we were headed. Might also explain all the instrumentals!
Made during the Balkan War, hence the reference. And for the freaks, I think “Balkans” is the only Clean track ever to not actually feature The Clean playing. It’s all Alan Starrett, as we removed the backing track.
Robert Scott on Unknown Country:
This album is very different from our other albums. We didn’t go into the studio with many “song” ideas—a lot of it was written on the spot. I really enjoyed recording this as it was free of expectation. We weren’t playing much live at the time. It does contain some of my favourite Clean songs such as “Twist Top,” “Wipe Me, I’m Lucky,” and “Valley Cab.” Certainly our most experimental album.
1. Wipe Me, I'm Lucky
2. Champagne & Misery
3. Changing Your Head
6. Franz Kafka At The Zoo
8. Indigo Blue
10. Get The Liquid
11. Happy Lil Fella
14. Twist Top
15. Cooking Water
16. Valley Cab
17. Wall Walk