To listen to The Coral on a grey Sunday afternoon, layered with the gentle hammering of raindrops against the window, is really rather apt. There’s a glorious essence of manifestation in the music, a crescendo of crazy that reverberates in the ears.
The Merseyside five-piece return to us after a bit of a hiatus, to serenade us with the dark and dreamy sound of their 8th (7th if you don’t count the independent Curse Of Love) studio album, Distance Inbetween.
Flicking through the band’s website, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a concept album; all mystic artwork and hand-drawn posters. There’s even an incredibly cool yet hilarious ‘Tape Amnesty’, where you send the band your old questionable mix cassettes, and they send it back taped over with the new album. Very cool, very all-encompassing. Much like the album.
The album begins with ‘Connector’ – all organs, Merseybeat and quintessentially Coral, but from here on out it’s pure escapism.
The album quickly evolves into a kind of psychedelic-desert-rock through the brilliant title track and ‘Million Eyes’. These songs have this wonderful Tarantino-esque vibe to them, Paul Duffy’s thunderous bass charging the band forward and away from the gunfire. On ‘Chasing The Tail Of A Dream’, the horses are coming, and you better run.
In my rain-soaked Chorlton tower while listening to ‘It’s You’, I saw orange and red smoke emirate from the speakers, accompanied by the slightly chilling sound of snakes.
James Skelly’s vocal is a warm comfort in this expanse of psychedelic byzantine. With shrill distortion he leads you down dark paths and over ledges, but when supported with sumptuous harmonies on ‘She Runs The River’ it’s like being held after the drama.
The closing track unashamedly tells you it was all just a technicolour dream; ‘End Credits’ fades out to the distant crackling whistle of a gramophone, the final notes suspended in mid-air.
Skelly’s described his writing for this as a little more “film noir”, but I definitely hear something a little more Kill Bill. Distance Inbetween is a ruggedly opulent musical noir – sexy, haunting, cool, rough, and a few fine guitar solos thrown in for good measure. Highly recommended.
Distance Inbetween is released on 4th March via Ignition Records Ltd.