I know you’ve heard the sentence “best new band in the country” so often in the past year or so, and if you’re like me, 9 times out of 10 after a listen to a song or two from the band in question you realise that it’s basically just record company hype of their latest signings. After reading that this band, The Coral, were the latest in a line I, for some reason, decided to take notice of what I was being told, I’m not at all sure why but maybe the fact that they were “scousers playing psychedelia” drew my interest as well as a raised smile. I eventually managed to sneak a listen to the song and that smile turned into something a bit more serious.
The Coral are a six-piece band formed five years ago at school, and one look at them would imagine them to be a group of Liverpudlian scallies, not the romantic dreamers, which this record suggests. Combining the psychedelia of the mid-60s with the acid-pop of the late-90s, with inbetween bits of folk love songs, The Coral have come up with a sound unique almost to the fact that it will take your breath away.
‘Shadows Fall’ is a beautifully crafted song, which sounds like it could have been created in 1967. It’s the sound of a haunted ghost returning to its home “silence warms through the halls, since I've been gone". If Lee Mavers sang the songs of Love it would sound something like this, however, to compare it to anything else would take away the fact that you won’t have actually heard anything like this before, for this is a band who are almost uncategorisable. Choral folk? Jazz? Psychedelia? What makes this record altogether so special is the way the harmonised vocals (the lyrics having been described as more 19th Century than 21st) with the upbeat instruments each adding to the atmosphere of the sound.
‘The Ballad Of Simon Diamond’ is an acid-fuelled tune, which shines through the Beach Boys-esqe harmonies “now he’s swapped his legs for roots, his arms and soil are in cahoot”. Final track ‘A Sparrows Song’ is a soft, mournful ballad showing the tender side to this absolutely remarkable debut and quite fantastically promising band.
I urge you not to be put off by ‘that’ sentence (well at least not this time). These ARE one of the most promising and original bands to emerge in a long while and thankfully they’re playing stuff, which hasn’t been played for far too long.
10Michael Clarke's Score