Sometimes, bands get taken for granted when they have been going for a while. It happened to Supergrass, whose latter day albums were every bit the equal to the debut yet sold a fraction of the amount, and it perhaps is happening to some degree to The Coral.
When influential guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones quit the band in 2008, few would have predicted that the band would return with an album as strong as 2010’s Butterfly House, which had some of their very best songs and a sound in the vein of Crosby, Stills and Nash.
Distance Inbetween partly carries on where that album left off, certainly with the gorgeous harmonies on the likes of ‘White Bird’ and the wonderful ‘She Runs The River’. However, that is only part of the story: The Coral perhaps don’t get full credit for the risks that they take – this is, after all, the band who released the barking single ‘Skeleton Key’ as the world was starting to get interested and then put out the bizarre Night Freak and the Sons of Becker album at the height of their commercial success.
Opener ‘Connector’, if it weren’t for James Skelly’s distinctive vocals, would sound like it had fallen off the last TOY album, while ‘Fear Machine’ could have been reported missing from The Stone Roses’ The Second Coming. The album’s first single, ‘Chasing the Tail Of a Dream’, meanwhile, is classic Coral fare and could have come from their debut.
Distance Inbetween is quite possibly the most eclectic Coral album so far, going through several aural costume changes and drawing bits in from all over their excellent back catalogue.
‘Million Eyes’ is another highlight, those harmonies given a dusting of phaser while down below, distorted guitars lay the foundations of the song. ‘Holy Revelation’ dips a toes into the murky waters of 1970s Blues Rock but somehow manages to come out of the other side sounding great.
You can bet that if you hear The Coral on TV or the radio, it will be upbeat (relatively) early singles ‘Pass It On’ or ‘In The Morning’, but those songs only begin to tell the story of The Coral. Distance Inbetween pretty much tells the rest of it in one sitting. It is an inspired addition to their ever-impressive catalogue.
God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.