The Coral

By Garth Paulson

Twenty-eight minutes, what a conundrum. A 28-minute album is perfectly acceptable if it’s made by a punk band, but otherwise it just causes problems.

What do you call The Coral’s Nightfreak and the Sons of Becker? It’s too long to be an EP but not long enough to be a proper full-length album. For the sake of simplicity let’s just call it a confusing, muddled, unclassifiable hodgepodge of mediocrity.

In case you don’t know, The Coral are one of the thousands of bands that have been heralded as the "next big thing" by the British press. Way back in 2002, The Coral were definitely an "it" band on the strength of their playful self-titled debut.

Seemingly intent on developing at a ridiculous pace The Coral have already released the obligatory disappointing sophomore album, followed by an interim EP and now with Nightfreak and the Sons of Becker they’ve gone and made their drug album. At this rate they’ll be playing watered down adult-contemporary versions of their past ideas before they’re 30.

Influenced by Syd Barret, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Beatles and just about every "it" band to hit the scene in the last few years, The Coral are certainly capable of making endearing music. The problem with Nightfreak and the Sons of Becker is a few too many attempts at drug-inspired weirdness, all of which fail.

With harsher editing Nightfreak and the Sons of Becker could have left us music snobs slobbering as opposed to scratching our heads.

Twenty-eight minutes?

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