Being self-employed gives you plenty of flexibility. Hence The Coral have managed to take the last five years off to do other stuff. They’re back now though with album number eight, sounding reinvigorated from that lengthy break.
With the dozen songs having been recorded live and in practically no more than one take each, Distance Inbetween contains an obviously different flavour of the Coral sound – denser in many places, heavier & propulsive in others. Yet the title track also has an expansive sound redolent of desert spaces so it’s not all foot down rockin’.
The band’s stated intention for the album was to have things mainly centre on the rhythm section and allow new guitarist Paul Molloy float his input over the top as necessary. In the main this places the album’s sound somewhere in the mid-1970s Americana field, rather than the more psychedelic places the band have generally inhabited prior. Variety is one of the key elements to the enjoyability of this album though so the listener can expect to be aurally wrong-footed from one song to the next but in nothing less than an entertaining fashion (apart, maybe, from on ‘Fear Machine’, which has a rather bar-room blues by numbers feel about it).
‘Miss Fortune’, thankfully, operates in more familiar indie territory yet Molloy’s solos successfully nudge things towards a hybrid of the old and the new. Which is all very refreshing, as much you expect for the band as for the listener. Plenty of The Coral’s contemporaries have fallen by the wayside since they released ‘Shadows Fall’ back in 2001 and many others continue but have had nothing new to offer for a long time. Distance Inbetween should, in an ideal world, be the envy of that latter grouping and provide The Coral with a well deserved new period of success.