The Coral are not just back – they’re back in a big way. A sold-out tour involving seemingly reinvigorated performances, a bundle of festival appearances lined up across the summer and, in the midst of it all, the release of their first album in two years in ‘Distance Inbetween’.
First impressions, this album appears to be good. The more it is listened to however, it becomes deeper than that. This is a fantastically well-crafted collection of music, the songs seemingly intertwined in a way that The Coral have arguably struggled to reach since Bill Ryder-Jones’ departure from the band. The tone is set by opening track ‘Connector’ – the riff immediately identifiable from early Coral tunes – the lyrics basic yet effective in frontman James Skelly’s brooding tone. Second single ‘Miss Fortune’ is again a highlight, with a real emphasis on the chorus, and ‘Fear Machine’, a song used to close their sets on the recent UK tour promoting the record, is magnificent in its uniqueness.
The highlight, in this fan’s humble opinion, is unquestionably first single ‘Chasing the Tail of a Dream’ however. Heavy riff, psychedelic beats and lyrics which bring the best out of their frontman’s voice, it is a song which stands out not just on this record but across all records released so far this year from the genre.
The beautiful thing about The Coral is the fact that they are well and truly on their own – producing music that critics struggle to pin down as being a particular genre or category. The result? Incredibly effective. If there’s one album to listen to this week, or any week, it is this one. The only questions are what took them so long, and if there is yet more to come from this legendary Scouse band.