Inspiral Carpets – Inspiral Carpets27th October 2014
The legendary Mancunian alt rockers need no introduction. We are talking about a north west institution so influential in the late 80’s early 90’s that their guitar techs sought and gained super stardom!! Having split up first in 1995 only to reform 8 years later, it seems they are back for the time being. Back with a self titled album on Cherry Red label, it will be interesting to see how or if The Inspiral’s sound has changed.
The openers “Monochrome” and “Spitfure” have the gutsy baselines and carefully chosen guitar riffs, accompanied by Stephen Holt’s melodic and often time gentle vocals, make for a well balanced songs.
The classic Clint Boon keyboards are back on form on song “You’re So Good For Me” which echoes back to those heady days in the late 80’s Madchester.
“Calling Out To You” can’t help but sound hugely influenced by Doors-esque jabs at the keyboard, with a bluesy feel on guitar at times, which are a good choice from the lads.
The band also shows their versatility by bringing things down to dreamy electronica on “Flying Like A Bird”. As a song on the album, it is unexpected and pretty soothing, the fluffy lullaby that it is.
Songs like “Changes” make me appreciate just how much these guys influenced rock pop munchkins Kaiser Chiefs, with their energetic and anthemic Wurlitzer driven alt rock. The music retains a very retro 80’s pop quality to it throughout and this is evident on “Hey Now”.
The upbeat “Our Time” is a refreshing change of pace on the album whilst “Forever Here” reminds me of early Charlatans, again a band who The Inspirals influenced greatly.
As a huge Doors fan, I can’t really get away from that huge influence, The Inspirals have their own sound, personality etc, but I can’t help feeling that they sound like a sober Jim and co and the closing two tracks “Let You Down”. My favourite moment on the album has to be cult punk poet John Cooper Clark reeling off his bitter sweet urban sentiments on this track. The finale “Human Shield” has tone and tremolo on the guitar, creepy plodding keyboards and a psychedelic feel which is conjured by all involved in the band, playing in harmony.
All in all, The Inspirals are back, with attitude, with real colour and character to their music, which, at times inspired and sounds as if they are revelling in their first studio album for exactly 2 decades.
3.. You’re So Good To Me
4.. A to Z Of My Heart
5.. Calling Out To You
6.. Flying Like A Bird
8.. Hey Now
9.. Our Time
10.. Forever Here
11.. Let You Down
12.. Human Shield
29th September 2014
For Fans Of:
Classic Madchester Alt Rock