The Coral

Red Rum Club - Matador

The Liverpool six piece released their debut album 'Matador' on the impeccable Modern Sky label (The Blinders & Calva Louise) earlier this month.

It's a real album of two halves. The free flowing euphoria of the first half screams single after single before, sadly petering out. Nevertheless, their peers will have to go far to match the anthem heavy first 6 songs.

'Angeline' is a tour de force of their home city Liverpool. Vocally, front man Fran Doran has channelled The Zutons' Dave McCabe whilst the guitarists have found their inner Will Sergeant. The most striking aspect comes from the Midlands though. The Dexys inspired soul is hear warmingly rousing.

The use of brass is key to the albums success and failures. It adds richness to 'Would You Rather Be Lonely?' and 'TV Said So', giving the true stand-out moments. The former, takes the crisp soul of The Style Council and the playful side of The Coral's early work on this tale of battling of loneliness. It's a song, so empathetic in nature, it could only come from the good people of their great city. 'TV Said So', continues on a similar vein James Skelly-esque vocals and the sumptuous guitar licks and wobbles.

However, in the latter stages, the brass becomes overpowering and disjointed on the Latin and Mexican grooves of 'Calexico' and 'Casanova'. The every-man soul and pop prowess disintegrates but, you cannot deny that, Red Rum Club are shackle free and willing to take chances.

Ultimately, 'Matador's cons are so few they pale into significance. This album is so well stocked in bangers that, it has potential of a two year run on the album charts.

The Coral - Distance Inbetween

The boys from the Wirral have returned after a six year hiatus to release their 6th studio album ‘Distance Inbetween’. Previous efforts ‘Butterfly House’ and ‘Roots & Echoes’, whilst good efforts, were not great so, is ‘Distance Inbetween’ worth the wait?

A return of oddness to their production to supplement their god given talent of crafting pop songs is back and, as a result, is their edge. They stray into pastures new as well, experimenting with prog rock styles inside three and four minute tracks.

Leading the charge are the tracks ‘Connector’, ‘Chasing The Tail Of A Dream’ and ‘Million Eyes’. It’s a tough call as to whether the production or James Skelly’s vocals add the more sinister tones to ‘Connector’. In four minutes, The Coral have opened their album with dark psychedelia, haunting prog and quality melodies.  

 

Shining through the mesh of darkness is ‘Miss Fortune’. For any band starting out today, this is a fine example of what years of dedication can bring. It is simultaneously fresh and familiar, weird and accessible. This is how to create an identity and cement it into pop culture.

Not content with just reaffirming themselves to the world, The Coral have set about introducing key aspects of prog into their pop songs. ‘Beyond The Sun’ uses spellbinding organs, allowing this track to float away into the ether. Meanwhile, ‘Distance Inbetween’ pays homage to Dave Gilmour’s archetypal Floyd sound with a slow build and superb solo release.

This is a fine return from the Wirral outfit. To remain pop friendly and ‘out there’ is credit to their talent and work ethic. This is laudable in an era where most play it safe as money is scarce to be seen.

The Coral – Chasing The Tail Of A Dream

The Coral's release of older 8 track recordings on 'The Curse Of Love' seems to have reawakened the bands darker side and ths continues with their latest single 'Chasing The Tail Of A Dream'.

The wonderful guitar solo will evokes the melodic genius of the 'Butterfly House' album but, its the tinge of Edwyn Collins' 'Understated' and the apocalyptic drums which give this song the edge they so richly needed.

Their new album 'Distance Inbetween' is released March 4th with UK and European tours in March and April and on this showing, the album and tour are not to be missed.