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Coral - Coral

  by Denzil Watson

published: 2 / 9 / 2002

Coral - Coral
Label: Select Label
Format: CD


"Contemporary and eclectic" and remarkably "self-assured debut" from the much acclaimed the Coral

After only a handful of early EP's, getting your debut album short-listed for the Mercury Music Prize is no mean achievement for Liverpudlian psychedelic blues rockers, the Coral. The Mersey has always had a knack of turning out special bands (The La's, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Teardrop Explodes to name a few) and the Coral look set to carry on the tradition. Their self-assured debut is no less astonishing when you consider the average of the band is a mere nineteen years old. God only knows how they've managed to make such a contemporary and eclectic yet listenable long player, crammed full of melodies, speed changes, a variety of weird and wonderful instrumentation, with influences amongst others that range from the 60's (the Doors, the Beach Boys), country and western, the blues, right through to reggae and ska. The Pigbag sounding introduction of opener 'Spanish Main' gives an early indication of the band's fascination for things nautical. 'I Remember When' with its tempo changes and psychedelic textures and killer chorus "And I'm better than him, and I know where I've been, and I know where I'm coming from" belies the band's tender ages - ending with a Cossack style knees up! One can almost feel the mist lifting their sea shanty as it sails along the Mersey on the haunting 'Shadows Fall'. The bouncy 'Dreaming of You' (their current Radio 1 play-listed single) with its brass accompaniment even finds room for a glockenspiel, and must surely see the band ascending the charts when it is released in early October. James Skelley - the band's 21 years old singer/guitarist does a pretty mean impression of Julian Cope on Doors/Bunnymen hybrid 'Goodbye' while the psychedelic lilt of 'Waiting For the Heartaches' gives a sideways nod to the Turtles. There's hardly a weak link in the album and on only one occasion on 'Skeleton Key' do they veer off course, throwing too much into their aural cooking-pot thus rendering the parts greater than their sum. The album closes with the epic and timeless 'Calendars and Clocks' and yet more wacky tempo changes that should have no right on earth to work but do. But wait.... there's one final wave of psychedelia with an unnamed hidden track that eventually mutates into a Bob Marley style 'Never Give Up the Fight' mantra before sailing off into the sunset.

Track Listing:-
1 Spanish Main
2 I Remember When
3 Shadows Fall
4 Dreaming Og You
5 Simon Diamond
6 Goodbye
7 Waiting For The Heartaches
8 Skeleton Key
9 Wildfire
10 Bad Man
11 Calendars And Clocks

Band Links:-

Have a Listen:-

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