Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
The knife that James Skelly sings about, here on this session, is present even when he doesn't sing about it. The cut that it leaves is present everywhere. The blood specks out a trail over every inch of the lives that he sings about here. The salt that gets applied liberally might as well be piled in mountainous heaps just out of frame, with men armed with shovels to scoop it wherever it needs to go. Somehow, this is all happening beneath a watchful, blue-ish-gray sky that cuts right down the middle of the bitter and the sweet of it all. "This is how it feels to be alive," Skelly, the singer for the spectacular English band The Coral, sings after the knife cuts right into the bone of a hand on "I'm A Man," and right before he defiantly claims that it will take much more than a blade to the hand to break his will.