The Inspiral Carpets lived in the shadows cast by [the mighty] Stone Roses and the [criminally over-rated] Happy Mondays. Yet, despite this they managed to flourish, recording 4 albums and loads of singles. They provided a raw but melodic underbelly to the Madchester scene.
For those unfamiliar with their music, The Inspiral Carpets started out peddling a rough brand of farsifa organ driven garage rock influenced by the likes of ? & The Mysterians [they even covered 96 Tears on an early tape]. Though cruder than the Stone Roses their songs are imaginative, melody-driven and energetic.
With each subsequent release they became more polished and, to be honest, as their career progressed their music became less interesting to my ears at least. However they still managed to turn out the odd pseudo-psych-pop gem.
This singles collection on the whole captures the band at their best. "This Is How It Feels" is perhaps their most memorable track, but many of these songs are as strong and equally deserving of your ear. Whilst I would advocate caution in exploring their catalogue I thoroughly recommend this collection. They were never really in step with the blossoming rave culture of the time and perhaps this was responsible for their relatively limited success. Yet at their best they were brilliant and deserve to stand proud on the podium next to the Stone Roses as the 2nd best band to come out of Manchester in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Give this one a blast.