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The Coral: Distance Inbetween *

Album Reviews:

Mojo (Publisher) - "It sounds like they went through a kind of hell to bring it to us, but there's little here that doesn't argue the effort was worth it."

NME (Magazine) - "In their favour is a moodier and more rhythmic approach, with all the hooks that once made them great."

Clash (magazine) - "For all the tinkering around the edges, the knack for melody married with James Skelly's gloriously emotive voice has always been The Coral's calling card and so it remains."

Uncut (magazine) - "DISTANCE INBETWEEN is very much the hardest and heaviest thing that The Coral have ever put down on tape....'Connector' is a wonderfully hypnotic three-chord groove, based around a machine-like beat and some pitch-shifted Bollywood strings..."

Album Notes

After half a decade spent working on solo projects that usually involved all the bandmembers anyway, the Coral regrouped to record their eighth album, Distance Inbetween. With new guitarist Paul Molloy of the Zutons on board, the band aimed for a more organic, heavier sound than past efforts. To that end, they recorded live in the studio, mostly using first takes and adding minimal overdubs. They've given their spooky brand of neo-psychedelia a slight overhaul, adding in some '70s influences and stepping back from the slick, almost poppy sound of their previous album, Butterfly House. The result is their heaviest record yet, with Molloy and James Skelly indulging in some maxed-out guitar duals and the rest of the band playing it simple and tough. Half the album is dedicated to the kind of sneaky-good psych-pop tunes the Coral have been cranking out for years; the easy-rolling "Miss Fortune" and melancholy charmer "It's You" have the kind of relaxed, very melodic appeal that their best work does. The latter track features their stacked and finely burnished backing vocals, something that the band isn't really known for, but something that this album really focuses on to its benefit. The rest of the album delves into moody, atmospheric, almost folky psych that sounds like it was made out of wood smoke and memories. This is also something the band has always been good at, and songs like "Beyond the Sun" and "She Runs the River" (which again shows off their beautiful, almost CSN&Y strong vocal harmonies) don't suffer at all from the lack of studio trickery; in fact, they may benefit from the clarity and immediacy. The entire record has a simple, direct feel that is new for the Coral; only their The Invisible Invasion had a sound this good. Distance Inbetween isn't quite on par with that album (an underappreciated hidden masterpiece of modern spooky psych), but it's not far behind. Unlike a lot of bands that seem to reunite just to cash in or repeat the past, the Coral came back with a renewed focus and a new sound. That's impressive in itself, and resulted in one of the band's best albums to date. ~ Tim Sendra


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