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The Coral 'Distance Inbetween' review

Ben Smith scribes how The Coral have dipped their comeback in acid and how they're ahead of the trend once again.

Ben Smith

Last updated: 24th Mar 2016

Image: The Coral

What Liverpool has lost in its premier live music venue The Kazimier, it has gained in a thriving live music scene and solidarity between it. No doubt one of the current scenes biggest influences was The Coral plugging away at the turn of the millennium, even more so that the bands former guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones is at the forefront of it. 

Distance Inbetween marks a significant comeback for the band. Not only because they'll headline Liverpool's flagship Sound City festival in the summer, but because they've shed their skin for a new-found neo-psychedelic swagger.

For a comeback album to appeal, a band must reconfigure and evolve otherwise they'll be quick to hit the scrapheap once the initial hype dies down. 

What's apparent is that The Coral always seem to be ahead of a trend; they helped ignite the dynamite that started the indie boom in the early 2000's and they've seemingly latched onto the pysch-rock trend blazed more recently by Kevin Parker.

What makes more sense than most is the utilisation of the band's reconfigured line up. They've lost guitarist Nick Southall and opted to showcase Nick Power's finest hour with his keyboard riffs coming to the fore.

It's by far the band's most rock n' roll record to date; dreamy and unnerving soundscapes are propped by rousing, interstellar riffs and gritty rhythms to give the record a clenched purpose.

Lead single 'Chasing The Tail Of a Dream' is a growling totem of intent that harbours a grandstand guitar solo equal to the kind that's just stamped Muse onto the peak of the Glastonbury poster. 

'Million Eyes' and 'Miss Fortune' are inspired by more mega fret-work - for the latter song, Skelly and the band harmonize "Ohhh she's a mover/ and she moves in and out of time" to hark anthemic times of old. 

'Distance Inbetween' and 'It's You' simmer the album to its most slow-moving: each spurning seductive and cinematic melodies to ease the listener.

'End Credits' provides an abstruse end with bleak and grainy sonics to peturb the ending to a real thrilling and acutely executed comeback. 

Read The Coral interview: It's exploded and gone technicolour