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The Coral: Distance Inbetween

Noughties indie heroes go all prog on their eighth LP.

The Coral have always had a psychedelic streak.

It’s this – along with their propensity for folk, ska, Merseybeat and even reggae in places – that sets them apart from other ‘guitar revivalist’ groups of the early 00s. It hasn’t led to the most consistent of catalogues, but a clutch of hits (Dreaming Of You, Pass It On) and a taste for musical variety have certainly kept them interesting. So, which side of James Skelly and Co. do we get this time? The retro, proggy one, it turns out, with waves of Pond-esque psych pop (see the adorable Miss Fortune), motorik moments and hypnotic trips. The latter is apparent from woozy opener Connector; it’s not the friendliest of starting points, but it’s well worth persevering for the colour beyond. Much about this record feels pleasingly set in the 60s: harmonies and sprawling jams in the likes of Million Eyes might as well come with their own cheesecloth and flares – evoking a lighter version of what groups like Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats have done lately. Some of the atmospherics are less commanding, but the overall hippie elegance and the reassuringly groovy likes of Holy Revelation suggests there’s a healthy amount of fire in the Coral camp yet.