The Coral - The Invisible Invasion

The Coral
The Invisible Invasion


First Appeared in The Music Box, September 2005, Volume 12, #9

Written by John Metzger


Where it once wrapped its musings in a kaleidoscopic haze of playful psychedelia, The Coral significantly tightened its formula and reduced its experimental tendencies in order to craft its latest effort The Invisible Invasion. Although hints of its past life continue to circulate through the resulting music ó the chiming steel drums that adorn the perky In the Morning; the subtle touches of percussion that brush against the sides of Cripples Crown; and the aqueous echo of guitar effects that shimmer around A Warning to the Curious, for example ó the groupís approach to recording the endeavor, which undoubtedly was influenced by its hiring of Portisheadís Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley to serve as co-producers, yielded a far more streamlined and subdued sound. Building upon the commanding voice of front man James Skelly, The Coral parlayed its newfound restraint into a decidedly darker affair, one which exudes an unsettled air of paranoid delirium. Augmented by the punishing torrent of mayhem and destruction that is unleashed by the septet, the lyrics to The Operator read like a lost episode of The X-Files, and the politically-charged Arabian Sand rages maniacally over its blues-inflected groove. Wisps of everyone, including Cream, The Kinks, The Zombies, and Echo and the Bunnymen drift through the collection, but much of the 12-track, 40-minute set finds The Coral merging the garage-pop aesthetics of The Velvet Underground with the ominous overtones of The Doors. Granted, the songsí simpler textures lend greater cohesion and continuity to The Invisible Invasion, but the lack of the distracting, kitchen-sink chaos that graced its prior outings serves as a double-edged sword in that The Coralís flaws are thrust into the open. Nevertheless, growth never comes without some pain, and in an age of pre-scripted, risk-averse career paths, itís a thrill to see a band move forward rather than simply shift from side to side. starstarstar

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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2005 The Music Box