The Coral - Distance Inbetween

LISTENING to Distance Inbetween, you get the sense that The Coral's hit-making days are behind them.

That is not a criticism. The Merseyside band have simply decided to go in a different direction and after 20 years together who can blame them?

But if you are a big fan of their catchy singles like Dreaming of You and In The Morning, you might be surprised by The Coral's first album in five years.

Recorded at Liverpool's Parr Street Studio, the band decided to put the rhythm section at the centre of the songs.

The result is a bit of an old school rock record which thunders along thanks to its fast but steady bass lines and drumbeats.

There are many moments in the band's eighth album which are reminiscent of the 70s music scene and bands like Grateful Dead.

Singer Ian Skelly has also changed his singing style to match The Coral's new identity.

Highlights include Million Eyes which starts with a simple riff and slowly but surely adds more musical layers.

Beyond The Sun also changes up the new formula a little, borrowing elements of 90s rock. It brought back memories of early Smashing Pumpkins.

Each of the 12 tracks has been designed to blend into one another and as a whole it makes for an atmospheric record.

The only downside of this approach is the lack of variety which is strange to say about a band known for being eclectic.

- The Coral play at Albert Hall in Manchester on Saturday