The Coral, Move Through The Dawn - album review
There is something so undeniably comforting about The Coral.
Since 2002 saw them explode onto the landscape with single Dreaming Of You, they have always been there flitting around in the background.
They consistently produce funky guitar tunes that people hear. They know them. But perhaps they never fully realise who is behind them. Are we perhaps looking at one of the most underrated bands of our time?
They are back with their ninth full-length album and, perhaps not surprisingly, they've nailed it again.
While this is perhaps closer to 'the norm' than some of their usual deep bass psychedelic folk as it boasts saddened guitar and keys tracks, there are still moments which are undeniably them.
Eyes Of The Moon is one-such track. That dancing bassline from Paul Duffy is killer, throwing its hips from side to side as it waltzes by. It's not often that you get an 'air bass' band to strum along to. But he has a knack for this kind of mind-grabbing line that controls the feet for you.
One of The Coral's biggest assets is they never outstay their welcome. No need for a seven-minute outro when it's not necessary. Few tracks make it past the three-minute mark. The key for them is to leave early while you are still enjoying the party rather than linger like a lonely, putrid smell. Strangers In The Hollow does this perfectly. While you are craving extra lashings of those soaring choruses accompanied by sweeping string arrangements it just cuts out and bids us farewell. "More," you scream, while reaching a finger for the 'previous track' button.
There's an upbeat country tempo to Reaching Out For A Friend. It's like they've momentarily gone 'Arcade Fire' on us. it again suits those upbeat choruses they like. Keys take over mostly, clinking nicely in a high-pitched semi-coma that evokes summertime vibes of sun-drenched beaches.
And when they do elongate a song, it's justified. Stormbreaker is the recipient here. It mixes everything we have discussed beautifully. Those jinking bass notes, the half-depressed, half-nonchalant guitars, the rising and falling interludes. It's deliciously irritable and cranky.
Nine records in and these guys still have a lot to say. It's great to hear.
The Coral play Camper Calling festival at Warwickshire's Ragley Hall on August 26 and will be back to headline Birmingham's O2 Institute on October 5.