The Coral – Butterfly House (Delatsonic) 12/07/2010

August 4, 2010 by  

Is The Coral maturing a good or bad thing?

First of all, credit to the band for still being here. Most of their peers are long gone and yet even after releasing a greatest hits and losing guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones, The Coral are back with their 6th album, The Butterfly House.

The album cover is exactly what you would expect from these guys, colourful and psychedelic, and their sound is still lodged firmly in the 60?s folk-rock/ psychedelic movement a la The Byrds and to an extent, Love. The great thing about their debut album was the unpredictability of it, it seemed completely natural, and was coming from a group of kids from Wirral. The Butterfly House is a return to this sort of form after years in the wilderness and records that sounded uninspired.

It is a familiar sound, with swirling guitars and the catchy choruses we have come to expect from James Skelly, however what makes this better than the last couple of records is the feeling of focus and confidence in making a mature record. No longer trying to replicate The Skeleton Key or Simon Diamond, there seems to be an acceptance among the band that they have grown up now and the time has come to produce. Admittedly, it is not as exciting as that debut album, the tracks are more subtle, layered with fleeting crashes and guitar riffs which create the psychedelic vibe they are known and respected for. Tracks like opener More Than A Lover and Green Is The Colour are excellent folk-rock tracks that really wouldn?t sound out of place on an LA radio station circa 1966. The album closer North Parade is the experimental inclusion, spanning 6 minutes and not dragging once.

You get the sense that The Coral have had their rough period and have come out on the other side focused and more importantly, intact. They have stood the test of time if you will, and have produced a solid, respectable album here and it would not be a surprise if they made another 6 records on the back of it.