There’s a good US prog review site run by author and music historian Jerry Lucky that is worth checking out: jerrylucky.com.
He’s just given us a good review, so we have to say that he’s a most astute observer!
The challenge with any new band is to carve out a distinctive sound, one that you can clearly call your own. Newcomers Coralspin seem to have succeeded in that task drawing together some rather disparate influences. But then isn’t that what progressive rock is all about? Formed in the late 2000’s the core trio consists of Ellie Blyth (vocals, keyboards), Blake McQueen (keyboards) and Jake Simmons (guitar). Though not officially with the group the sound is augmented by Steve Kightley (bass) and David English (drums). As mentionedCoralspin bring together influences as diverse as Kate Bush and Led Zeppelin to give something quite unique.
There’s a total of 37-minutes of music on Honey and Lava; 8-tracks of varying lengths. Things get underway with one of the more proggy tunes entitled “Sons of the Sleeping Giant” [6:59]. It’s the longest track and offers the most musical change-ups. Commencing with some doom-laden power chords then changing to some staccato strumming before the doubled vocals come in setting a rather ominous choral tone. Around the three-minute mark they develop some wonderful cascading runs that have a nice cello tone reminding me of Zep’s “Kashmir”. After a couple key-changes and short musical detours, the band return to the opening section briefly before inserting a somewhat majestic vocal interlude before finally closing the tune with the cello-ish riff. It’s a great tune that is both quirky and musical. Coralspin are a band of many styles and the next track “You’re Wrong” [3:33] opens in kind of a power-ballad fashion, mid-tempo with full emphasis on melodic flow. I must say, the Kate Bush influence is evident on two fronts, Ellie Blyth’s vocals of course, but also many of these compositions are shorter in nature and yet contain lots of artistic elements; subtle arrangements and interesting use of instrumentation. The tunes start off in a certain fashion but never go where you think; the band offer up many pleasant little surprises along this musical journey.
Coralspin in their short time together have been gaining much media attention and I think it’s well deserved. Their initial foray into the musical world, Honey and Lava offers much to acquit itself. Balancing some great melodic tunes against some rather artsy or proggy elements provides Coralspin with a sound that is all their own. As a first offering they get full marks from me and I can’t wait to see what they do next. You would do well to check’em out.