As The Coral move on to their latest studio album, their consistent sonic evolution moves with them. There’s now very little left of the band that stood alongside The Kinks and The Feeling in jaunty, floppy-haired indie pop circles and, frankly, it’s difficult to say whether they’re better off for it.
Distance Inbetween is an album confident in delivery but confused in direction. In the first three songs alone we are thrown into a dark world of driving QOTSA-style desert rock riffs, then yanked sideways into a strange mix of proggy guitar leads and hazy psychedelic harmonies. The record suffers from what a lot of post-new-psych (an impossibly pretentious term, but go with it) music does in this era: there’s a sense of too much examination of bands who’ve done it better in previous years, resulting in pastiches of The Horrors (‘Miss Fortune’) and Temples (‘White Bird’).
What’s most tragic is that these are the best songs on the record – the more original material is mostly forgettable, especially in melody. Distance Inbetween has the swagger it needs to promise a great live show, but not the intrigue to make a great album.
[Ciaran McQueen – @_delareine]