The Coral return with a new album, new song – and artwork which has everyone talking, Getintothis’ Peter Guy dissects the results.
The Coral are back. To be fair, they’ve barely been away.
Whether it’s Serpent Power side projects, James Skelly‘s producer skills or Nick Power‘s poetry – or Paul Duffy‘s impromptu solo outings and comic book Twitterisms, there’s barely been a day that’s passed without some Coral related activity.
But the latest news is quite something. Both sonically and visually, they’re very much back in the game.
Announcing the release of their ninth studio album, Move Through The Dawn, they’ve dropped their opening single – Sweet Release – a power pop glam stomper complete with characteristically daft video (it has paper-bag wearing synchronized dancers boogieing around Liverpool’s north docklands venue The Invisible Wind Factory).
But it’s the eye-ball-popping artwork which has really gotten tongues wagging. Let’s take a closer look…
- First off – Duffy. Is there a cooler man in Merseyside music? No there’s not. There just isn’t. Duffy sets the bar. And while the rest of the band are resplendent in their Hawaiian shirts and ridiculous headwear, Duffy is just being himself. He’ll often be seen wearing this kinda gear in The Swan boozer or down the Baltic slinging his guitar round his shoulders effortlessly oozing rock and roll lunacy like the Greats.
- The colour scheme. Is there a better ‘worst’ colour scheme on any album cover ever. Whoever thought slime green and Ribena vomit pink would work is a bonafide genius. It’s unbelievably disgraceful. It’s hideous. Outlandish. You can imagine record shop owners pushing it to the front of the racks purely because it’s so ridiculous. I for one, cannot wait to see it in the flesh.
- Ian Skelly looks like he’s going to batter someone. All drummers have a bit of lunacy about them. Ian’s no different. His snarling malevolence is captured beautifully here. Who’s he gonna chin? Maybe he’s just been short changed down the ASDA. Maybe he’s left his sticks in the hotel? Maybe that’s just his relaxed facial expression? Who knows.
- What’s with the Japanese / oriental writing? Is it Japanese? I can’t speak or read it. You tell me. Is this some form of KLF style in joke – and we’re just not privy to it. Frankly, I am not too fussed to find out – but it’s inclusion only adds to the mania and brilliance of this perverted, frankly marvellous album cover.
- The song titles are on the front cover. This retro style counter balances the futuristic madness of the rest of the sleeve. And judging by the titles they’re gonna be pretty whacked out musically – personally, can’t wait to hear Eyes like Pearls and Eyes Of The Moon – hoping they’ll be two sides of the same coin; all proggy, lunatic jams.
- That Lion. Why? Who cares. It’s a fucking lion in a city. All albums should have a lion on the front cover. It should be a mandatory prerequisite for designers. Get a lion on your album cover.
Anyway, make of it what you will. It’s our favourite album cover in a very long time. Here’s Sweet Release.
The Coral tour dates:
Supporting Manic Street Preachers:
April 23 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
April 25 Glasgow The SSE Hydro Arena
April 27 Birmingham Arena
April 28 Manchester Arena
May 1 Llandudno Arena
May 2 Leeds First Direct Arena
May 4 London SSE Arena Wembley
May 5 Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
May 24 – 27 Bearded Theory Festival, Walton-on-Trent
May 27 Neighbourhood Weekender, Warrington
June 15 Nocturne Live at Blenheim Palace (supporting Noel Gallagher)
August 19 Don Valley Bowl, Sheffield (Ocean Colour Scene headline)
August 24 – 26 Camper Calling, Alcester
Aug 30 – Sep 1 Electric Fields, Dumfries