13 October 2013

Inspiral Carpets - Life

Now this is a blast from the past and make no mistake about it.  Coming from Oldham, Greater Manchester, UK, these guys were part of a musical scene called Madchester by the UK musical press; basically it was a load of indie rock bands from the North West of England and surrounding area's (allegedly Manchester is a well known suburb of London as there was some Cockney bands lumped in with that scene as well - idiots!) and these guys were one of the more interesting bands to come from that explosion of artists.  With a more individual sound which linked back to some of the more psychedelic moments in music (mainly due to organ player Clint Boom), they had that bit more of an edge over the Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses and Flower Up.  When I say edge I do not mean it in a metal way, but there was something a bit more to them for me.  Now this album is over 20 years old and this is the first time I can actually remember trying to sit down to listen to one of their albums.  So no better place to start like their debut release, which reached number 2 when released in the UK all those moons back.

Out of all the songs here, I only have really listened to two in any great detail - "This Is How It Feels" and "She Comes In The Fall", these were two of the three singles released from this album with the song "Move" making up the trio.  "This Is How It Feels" is a song about being unemployed in the early 90's in Oldham whilst "She Comes In The Fall" which seems to be talking about not jumping ahead of your actions (alternatively it is about a girl jumping off the side of a building to escape her life - or possibly it all happened in Autumn, you never know).  Whilst the former is a potent and moving song, I much prefer the former with its driving organ piece, hidden meanings and if I am quite honest, happier sound in regards to life.  So with those two it is the rest of the album that I get to look into with fresh eyes.

Musically the rest of the album falls roughly between those two songs in points of musical reference; with various degrees of success.  Some of their tunes such as "Song For A Family" and "Monkey On My Back" are good faster 90's indie numbers which have aged gracefully.  Also "Move" and "Sackville" are also very good.  However, this album is so middle of the road for the rest of the release that it bores me a little; and the limited ability of the vocal range of then singer Tom Hingley ruins a few of the songs gentler moments such as "Sun Don't Shine" and "Directing Traffik".  There is nothing wrong here, but apart from a few moments of brilliance ("She Comes In The Fall" and "Monkey On My Back"), the rest of the album is not going anywhere fast.

5 out of ten - It could have been a bit better

You can purchase one of the versions of the album from Amazon here

You can visit the Inspirial Carpets website here

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

Here is the video for "She Comes In The Fall"

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