This is the first new material Inspiral Carpets have recorded in fifteen years after singer, Tom Hingley, departed the band in 2008 amid frustration over gigs and rumours that venue choices were dictated by Clint Boon honouring the network he had built up during his DJ career. Hingley was replaced by original singer and founder member Stephen Holt (who left in 1989). Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to get back on a train like this?

In fairness, Holt’s return does seem to have spawned a change in direction and a genuine freshness in the music. ‘You’re So Good For Me’ sounds like a band that has re-discovered the vigour of their youth: up-tempo, snare driven garage with the Stanglers-esque, post-punk sound that defined the band in their early recordings. However, there is no reconciling the Inspirals of ‘This is How it Feels’ with the lyrics of ‘You’re So Good For Me’ that essentially say very little, and sound suspiciously like “Aww, it’s great to be married, isn’t it?”.

The b-side, ‘Head for the Sun’, is a remix (or possibly a re-recording) of a song from 1987’s Cow record (an early promo). It seems to have a little more of a message lyrically, and a little more edge, with an almost grunge-y sound, power chords and clanging, overdriven guitars. I actually prefer this song out of the two, which is probably a bad sign. I’d be more excited if ‘You’re So Good For Me’ were just any old song off the album, but if this is the best the new recordings have to offer, I think the latest material won’t quite live up to the legend (does it ever?).

Despite my criticism, it’s still a new Inspiral Carpets song, so a lot of people will get very excited. As I was never such a big fan, I won’t be joining them – and while half of me thinks it’s nice to see some decent guitar music getting released despite the rest of the industry’s dire prognosis for alternative music, the other half thinks that, while the scene is saturated with Noel Gallagher’s new album and re-unions from the Stone Roses and the Inspirals, it’s not really looking like an attractive alternative to mainstream culture for today’s ‘yout’ (as I’m told they call themselves).

Release Date 21/11/2011

Chris Oliver

I've been playing bass guitar and guitar for over half my life. I last played bass in in a band called Electromotive and as a singer-songwriter I have written songs about cheese and vajazzles (separate songs!). I started out listening to 60s, 70s and 80s rock as a kid and I was in to grunge and U.S. punk and ska in the 90s. Since then, I've broadened my tastes and I like the best of all styles of music, even country. I've been writing for Silent Radio since it started.