On 2nd February 2004 at 09:24 Anonymous 1740 wrote...
Excellent album. The most unique band of the last 20 years..
By The Coral
The latest recording form The Coral is the product of improvisational sessions. I awaited the release of this CD with anticipation since I saw them in November and heard two of the songs live. This release is described as a 'mini-album'. It has eleven songs so, more or less the same amount as their first two full albums (The Coral, Magic & Medicine). It stands along side those recordings in their distinct style, but at just over twenty-eight minutes it is quite short.
The track 'Venom Cable' reminds me of early Blur in the way the bass and guitar work together, until you are lulled into some 'Doors' style organ music. 'Song of the Corn' has a Floydian melody that perfectly suits James Skelly's beautifully rich and velvety voice.
The Dylan influence is becoming less obvious as The Coral progress and I believe the band have classic sound, stemming from the original spark they had from the beginning of their musical career. The songs on this recording are short, but they meander through clever and unexpected changes in a way which holds the listeners interest.
I believe 'Sorrow or the Song' is a song about making decisions. Its melancholy lyrics rouse a feeling of empathy in me. Perhaps it's the piano over a deep double bass, but it reminds me of a John Lennon song I can't recall the name of. 'Why Does The Sun Come Up' also has a definite groove / vibe although it's a rather simple song. These are the two standout tracks in my opinion.
It isn't all praise though. The songs flow like an album. The music is the vehicle for this, but it isn't lyrically consistent. 'Auntie's Operation' is the worst culprit because the title is repeated to the point where it frays on my nerves, but the line 'She's sniffing at your food, before it's even chewed' kills it for me. This track is only saved by its groovy riff, and maybe the sirens in the background.
The Coral's debut album had a quirky, youthful energy but 'Nightfreak & The Sons of Becker' shows they have matured. They still have energy, but their confidence in themselves as songwriters is now glowing through. They have certainty in their abilities which allows them self-indulgence, but also the ability to evolve and vary their music, to the surprise and pleasure of their fans.