The Coral

SXSW Records

Phases and Stages

The Coral

(Deltasonic/Columbia)

The Coral

Skeleton Key EP (Deltasonic/Columbia) From the first lysergic chord on their eponymous full-length debut, Liverpool sextet the Coral sucker punch the current wave of UK guitar rock, leaving the likes of Elbow, Travis, and all things electro battered on the doorstep of Syd Barrett and Sixties psychedelia. Sporting the best organ riffs since the Charlatans' late Rob Collins, the Coral are positively explosive in their ability to mine the best from the old-school psych/garage crowd. There's enough fuzz here for a peach orchard, and more echo-box freak-outs than Trout Mask Replica. "Waiting for the Heartaches," with its trilling, vibrato guitar building to a shouty heartbroken chorus, is pure Zombies, while the grooving twang of closer "Calendars and Clocks" recalls both the Strawberry Alarm Clock and fellow Liverpool past masters the Las. There are hints of everyone from Pink Floyd to the Animals here, but somehow the Coral feels remarkably now. Compared to the Skeleton Key EP, whose underproduced gunkiness pales in comparison to the full-length debut, this is a breath of fresh air exhaled from a dank garage somewhere just left of 1967. (Stubb's, Saturday, March 15, 10pm)

(Coral) ***.5

(Skelelton Key) **

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