Coralspin - 'Honey And Lava' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 21, 2012    
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If they have any visions of grandeur then I'm afraid they have a mountain to climb.

I think a different reviewer may have given this an alternative perspective but then again they may, like me, have been clutching at straws to draw enough positives from this album. Coralspin have been described as an outlaw-prog band (whatever that is) by leading UK prog site ‘Silhobbit’ but it hardly inspires one when opening song ‘Sons Of The Sleeping Giant’ tends to have a very apt title as this is nigh on seven minutes of dreary, plodding, meandering beats and chords with weak female vocals that would be a perfect cure for insomnia. Second song ‘You’re Wrong’ starts off with a piano intro but then leads absolutely nowhere and one gets the feeling that this is hardly going to appeal to the prog cognoscenti. Similarly ‘Burn My Eyes’ is nondescript with a very strange ending although I can hear the Muse comparisons in this song. In actual fact their biog describes them as also sounding like Yes, Genesis, Kate Bush, Queen and Led Zeppelin amongst, were magic mushrooms being consumed at the time of the write-up?

It’s not all doom and gloom though as main songwriter and keyboardist Blake McQueen has a few good musical ideas up his sleeve and is a decent and clever lyricist as evidenced on the afore-mentioned ‘You’re Wrong’ (about someone absolutely convinced they’re right even when they’re distorting the truth), ‘Sky’s End’ (about global destruction), and ‘Night Stalker’ (about giving into lust with an ex and regretting it the next day).

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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There are two decent songs on this album; First off ‘Mistimed’ has some good melodies with interesting use of keyboard effects and some nice key changes with a good chord structure. Ellie Blyth’s vocals, although weak and nasally, suit its ambient rhythm but at less than four minutes long maybe more could’ve been done with this song? Then there is ‘Sky’s End’ that along with its good lyrical content has an upbeat mood and is heavily influenced by Rush (not mentioned in the biog!) particularly from guitarist Jake Simmons. But elsewhere you get a piano led ballad with ‘Songbird’ which is a delicate introspective written by Ellie Blyth that is both bland and let down by her weak vocals and closer ‘Aching’ which has a hint of Queen but that’s all with zero musical comparison as it mirrors the opening song in banality.

Bass and drums are covered respectively by Shadowkeep’s Steve Kightly and My Immortal’s David English and to be fair the legendary Ray Staff (Zeppelin, Stones, Clash, Sabbath) does a fine job with the production and mastering. If they’re content to tread the pub rock route releasing this as a collectable to a small but loyal following then fair enough, but if they have any visions of grandeur then I’m afraid they have a mountain to climb.

Carl Buxton

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