The Carpets were never as cool as the Stone Roses, or the kings of the 'E' scene like...
Jack Smith 2003
The Inspiral Carpets were never as cool as the Stone Roses, or the kings of the 'E' scene like the Happy Mondays, but they were the great singles band of the Madchester era. They hit the charts more frequently than their fellow Mancunians of the late 1980s and early 90s and packaging these tracks on one cd, Cool As, seemed a great idea.
However, the milk goes sour with the addition of new single, "Come Back Tomorrow". So be prepared to hit the stop button on your cd player when you reach track 20, unless you're a fan of Eurovision songs crossed with Elton John's 1970's classic "Step into Christmas". It seems that their ability to write three-minute psychedelic punk pop singles has waned somewhat in recent years.
On the upside this song is preceded by19 tunes of immense quality. Opening track "Keep The Circle Around" features original singer Stephen Holt on vocals and is followed by punky pop classic "Butterfly". Clint Boon's Farfisa keyboard proved to be the driving force behind the Carpets sound at the turn of the decade and the melancholic pop of "This Is How It Feels" and "Move" from debut album Life would become their trademark.
The pneumatic drilled funk of "Caravan" from the band's second album, The Beast Inside, follows unheralded tracks "Biggest Mountain" and "Weakness" which again feature Boon's swirling keyboards and Tom Hingley's smooth vocals. Third album, Revenge Of The Goldfish, produced four top 40 singles and with "Two Worlds Collide" revealed a dark side to the band's writing.The songfeatures the haunting lyric, 'Today I stole the sun from the sky, the colour from the heart of the world, today I took food from the hand of a starving child'.
Two of the Carpets' best selling singles from final album Devil Hopping, "Saturn 5" and "I Want You"(featuring The Fall vocalist Mark E Smith), complete this pleasing delve into a decade of pop.Ignoring the album's finale, this is a must-buy for anyone who grew up as the 80s fused into the 90s - go on, you'll be surprised by how much you remember.