Friday, March 04, 2016

Album Review :: The Coral - Distance Inbetween

The Coral

Distance Inbetween

March 4 2016 (Ignition Records)


Words: Richard O’Hagan

If the definition of stupidity is repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting different results, then no-one can accuse Liverpudlian veterans The Coral of stupidity. Indeed, the joke is very much upon anyone who was expecting this, the band’s first album in five years, to be a return to the lighthearted days of ‘Dreaming of You’, ‘Pass It On’ and so forth. This is a very different Coral.

From the vaguely Indian influences of the thumping opener ‘Connector’ to the curious electronica of ‘End Credits’, the band leave few stones unturned in what seems to be a deliberate attempt to distance themselves from their past. At times, though, it seems like a slightly desperate attempt, too.

Current single ‘Miss Fortune’ has an upbeat funk about it and there’s an appeal to the psychedelic progginess of the likes of ‘Chasing The Tail Of A Dream’ and ‘Fear Machine’, but there are a number of songs which just don’t seem to get anywhere at all. Especially weak are the two slower numbers, the title track and ‘She Runs The River’.

The Coral always were much better when they stayed uptempo and that, at least, hasn’t changed. There are times, too, where they just try to do too much. ‘Million Eyes’ is turned from a perfectly decent three minute number into a dull five minute one by the addition of a totally unnecessary instrumental section at the end. In truth, you could say that about just about every number on here, that it goes on just that little bit too long, but this is a particularly egregious example.

Having said all of this, though, there is a lot to commend here. It isn’t a record for people who like their music short and snappy, but if you like lots of effects, swirly keyboards, vocal distortion and 1970s influences then you’ll find that the distance inbetween The Coral and you really isn’t that big at all.

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