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The Coral
Magic And Medicine

Review By Steve Guttenberg
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The Coral Magic And Medicine

CD Number: Columbia CK 90619


  The Coral I can't help but think this (very) young British sextet sounds like the mutant offspring of any number of bands populating Rhino Records' Nuggets CD box set. Nuggets steered clear of '60s icons like the Beatles, Stones, The Who, or Led Zeppelin and instead celebrated (mostly) one-hit wonders groups like The Kingsmen ("Louie, Louie"), The Seeds ("Pushin' Too Hard"), and featured one of my all-time favorite garage band ditties, "Little Girl," by The Syndicate of Sound. And before any of you write angry letters, yes, I know Nuggets first appeared as a series of LPs in the early '70s, starting with Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968. Point is, just about any track on The Coral’s Magic and Medicine CD could be wedged into a set of Nuggets tunes, and it would be right at home. Magic's very first track, "In the Forest," with its mysterious slinky organ riffs instantly suckered me right in. "Talkin' Gypsy Market Blues" revisits Dylan and his Highway 61's frenzied highs.

Listen to the way The Coral blend acoustic and electric guitars, their close coupled harmonies, and throw in an occasional horn flourish – and you will hear the influence of the Buffalo Springfield, Love, early Doors. But I would never dismiss The Coral as pure clones, their original passions are just harder to describe. None of it sounds like it was recorded after 1967, and that’s a good thing. Unlike most new music you hear today, The Coral’s production leaves a lot of open spaces between the instruments.

The writing is top notch melodic and the lyrics stand up to repeated listenings
this CD has stayed in my heavy rotation pile for going on three weeks. It's is a two-disc set, but to tell you the truth, the second disc, Nightfreak and the Sons of Becker, wasn't up to the standards of Magic. Hey, it’s a free "bonus" disc and it might jell six months from now.




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