Album review, The Coral, Distance Inbetween: ‘Solid, but won’t set world alight’

The Coral's Distance Inbetween

The Coral's Distance Inbetween - Credit: Archant

Emerging from a six-year hibernation after deciding to wait for inspiration to strike, the Wirral wonders have delved deeper into their psychedelic rock roots for this seventh album proper.

Mining Revolver-era Beatles and The Byrds, as well as drone and bursts of dreamier, open-road ‘70s American rock, Distance Inbetween is certainly well-travelled in terms of inspiration.

The opening suite announces an intense and ominous direction towards drone rock, punched through with their strong and familiar spaced-out psychedelia.

Opener Connector and Miss Fortune sound like separated twins, both using rapid drums and climbing notes as motifs, the latter amid fun, fat rolls of fuzzed, partially-reversed psych guitar.

The rumbling Beyond The Sun injects some country and the boys aren’t above a bit of ‘70s Hendrix-aping either (check the outro of Million Eyes).

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But it’s hard to shake the feeling that this is a band going through the motions - perhaps due to their enduring image of being the exciting, energetic Merseyside psych-scamps shaking up Britain’s early Noughties indie scene.

The title track is a bit disappointing - a languid but lacklustre skull through gently swirling psych waters - but the high water mark comes in the prowling guitar (and echoes of Bowie in singer James Skelly’s ethereal vocal quivers) of Chasing The Tail Of A Dream.

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The atmospheric She Runs The River props up the latter third with a choral vocal set to an almost Medieval style and funereal pace, followed with a slug of attitude and Black Rebel guitar in Fear Machine.

None of it wll set the world alight, but the band turn in a solid performance.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

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