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The Coral - The Coral (Deltasonic)

It's been a while since something truly interesting and memorable came in the mail and we don't talk about that last... event. Ever. Anyway, The Coral's debut album is enough to wipe away even the darkest of memories, if not also the toughest of stains.

In fact, listening to the songs therein is somewhat akin to reading that last paragraph - unsettling and somewhat disorienting, but almost fascinating. There's precious little here to get the musical compass working. Perhaps some of the dreamy weightlessness that Floyd at their peak was capable of, particularly on 'Simon Diamond', which curiously echoes their classic 'Arnold Layne'. Maybe on 'Skeleton Key', we can sense some of that fairground-attraction absurdity that Tom Waits and Nick Cave make use of so potently. This is certainly a strange freak of a rock and roll record. Step right up and see it while you can.

If you remember Captain Beefheart fondly, or even if you appreciate Mr Bungle, then there is definitely something for you here. It's good old fashioned baffling music with a thoroughly up to date edge. If that doesn't make sense then it's only because it's impossible to unravel some of the intriguing mysteries within this record.

I missed them when they played with - correct me if I'm wrong - Andrew WK earlier in the year. It won't happen again. "The Coral" is the best new album I've heard this year, in fact, the Queens of the Stoneage are going to need something special if they're going to beat this.

Dominic Body

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