The Coral – Distance InbetweenCultureMusicAlbum reviews
Having casually strolled into British musical culture with deeply catchy early work (Dreaming of You, for example, is instantly recognisable), Wirral boys The Coral subsequently receded from the limelight, seemingly unable to follow up their early accolades with sustained success. Aside from the release of a “lost” album in 2014, it seemed that The Coral’s indefinite hiatus was going to remain just that. Thankfully, Jack Skelly and company are back with Distance Inbetween, a moody and almost thoroughly excellent album that draws heavily on psychedelia and 70s heyday rock for inspiration.
From the outset, The Coral play to this psych-rock heritage. Through the first droning, reverb-heavy riffs of album openers Connector and Chasing the Tail of a Dream the group set a darkly psychedelic tone, with brooding basslines and rolling drums providing a canvas for vocal flair and unashamedly pandering guitar solos from frontman Skelly and fellow guitarist Lee Southall. This heavy atmosphere runs throughout the album, but doesn’t properly find a voice until standout track Million Eyes, where the moody riffs and hooks really start to find their groove, landing with real weight in the form of a guitar solo that wouldn’t be out of place on an early Pink Floyd album.
Once it hits its stride, however, Distance Inbetween doesn’t let off the pace. Be it through the reversed guitars of album single Miss Fortune, atmospheric drums of Beyond the Sun or relentlessly grinding riffs of Holy Reveleation, The Coral revel in a sound that they’ve struggled to express so expertly since 2003’s Magic & Medicine. Admittedly, some of the tracks contained within Distance Inbetween verge on being a melodramatic imitation of 70s psych-rock, rather than a fond and deft interpretation. It’s a fine line however, and one that tracks like Fear Machine do a (mostly) commendable job of walking.
What emerges, then, from this latest, and hopefully not final, album from The Coral is a decidedly more mature sound. Skelly and his posse have been through their fair share of struggles over the past decade, but if that’s what has been required to deliver Distance Inbetween, it certainly hasn’t been for nothing.
“World’s got her running / but she’s not running scared”, cries Skelly in Miss Fortune. The Coral are running headlong back into the limelight, if this highly skilled return to the public eye is anything to go by.
Distance Inbetween is released on 5th March 2016, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Miss Fortune here: