The Coral

The Distance Inbetween

Ignition

Apr 11, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


It's tempting to categorise The Coral as landfill indie resurgence, musicians of Noel Gallagher and Richard Ashcroft's ilk, who provoke a response of "Oh, they're still going? Really?" And going on all available evidence, it would be fair to do so. You might even be surprised to hear that they put out seven whole studio albums between 2002 and 2010; they were never necessarily bad, just a bit inessential.

This, the band's first album in five years, can thus be labelled one of 2016's biggest surprises. It doesn't stray far from the indie rock model that they've built their career upon, but the seasidey, distinctly Liverpudlian sound that characterized their work to date has been largely eschewed in favor of something darker and heavier.

At its best, such as on "Holy Revolation," The Distance Inbetween combines loud distorted psychedelia with driving Krautrock rhythms that give it a near-shoegaze feel. Even when they do revert to the sound of Magic and Medicineperhaps their best-known albumsuch as on "Million Eyes," it's done with an energetic retro fuzz that propels it along. Meanwhile, highlight "She Runs the River" swirls from a Justin Hayward-esque incantation to something ominous and deeply intriguing.

Perhaps the greatest surprise is that, 14 years after their debut, The Coral are capable of producing their best work. (www.thecoral.co.uk)

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