Album Review: Inspiral Carpets (Self-Titled)

Originally posted on Gigslutz

From frantic opening track ‘Monochrome’ to the meaty closer ‘Human Shield’,Inspiral Carpets’ eponymous studio album is a successful effort to break the band’s twenty years silence. With hooks that rival the catchiness of The Cribs’ ‘Men’s Needs’ and anthemic, working man’s choruses that The Libertines would be proud of, this is a satisfying buffet where the listener can sample aspects of some of the greatest English bands.

Lead single ‘Spitfire’ is an exotic narrative with a vocal that carries the listener to a faraway land “taking me higher”. ‘You’re So Good For Me’ sounds like The Kaiser Chiefs having a bust up with Reverend & the Makers; there’s a hurried rhythmn and sinister vocal that can be guranteed to get your foot frantically jolting along. Backing vocals in ‘Our Time’ include a sinister laugh that sounds like an Oasis remix played through the PA system of a haunted house. This sinister edge is further explored in ‘Changes’ where the suspensful pace of the song is evocative of The Automatic’s ‘Monster’.

The psychedelic organs that the band base their sound on are best utilised in ‘A To Z Of My Heart’ where the joviality of Blur’s melodies collides with the brooding vocal of Stephen Holt. It sounds like confusion – but the good kind, when you’re drunk and don’t know where you are or how you got there.

Perhaps the highlight of the album is ‘Let You Down’, featuring collaborative input from the almighty punk poet John Cooper Clark. “Don’t put your trust in me / I will only let you down”, croons lead singer Stephon Holt. This track sounds like Echo & the Bunnymen on crack: way less depressing than the Liverpool band but with a dominating vocal presence that captivates the listener.

Inspiral Carpets’ latest offering is both consistent and captivating, proving that things will get better with age, if left alone for long enough…

Inspiral Carpets is scheduled for release on the 20th of October.