These Four Walls- We Were Promised Jetpacks

by Jack Diablo

Label: Fat Cat Records
Release Date: June 15, 2009
While classifying a band like We Were Promised Jetpacks is next to impossible, enjoying their new album These Four Walls is an easy task.
One thing I can say for sure is that this band is Scottish. Many bands from across the pond do a pretty decent job of burying their accents but Adam Thompson’s Edinburgh draw is as thick as blood pudding and it works beautifully. Even if the lyrics are a bit emo, like early Saves The Day, it’s not obnoxious or whiny. It’s like adult emo. Musically, they combine a variety of styles including indie and post-rock. There is a very consistent beat that seems to permeate almost every track. It is infectious but can make listening to the entire album all the way through a bit of a chore.
I’ve personally found myself gravitating towards three songs. The first just so happens to be the initial track, ‘It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning.’ There is a hint of Bloc Party’s danceable indie jams just under the surface, but it crescendos into something unique and beautiful. ‘Ships With Holes Will Sink’ looks to be the first single from the record and rightfully so. The emo lyrics come through in this one – “I think I’ve died this time / Suffered bullet-holes and stab-wounds in my side.” The drums keep the accent on the upbeat as the bass walks and the guitars oscillate between graceful single chords and furious tremolo strumming. A few quiet tracks help to break the monotony before ‘Quiet Little Voices’ brings back the tempo and volume. It is a tasty little song about falling in love and feeling young again. From the very first line, “Quiet little voices creep into my head / I’m young again,” it says a lot with very few words and it’s meaning is easily deciphered without being trite or cliche. There are some punk elements such as the bass riff in the chorus and the backup gang vocals that give this track a certain familiarity.
Lately, I’ve found myself returning to this album again and again. These Four Walls does a fine job of relating to universal feelings and is able to communicate them in a way that elicits an emotional response. It walks the fine line between pop and originality and is an all-around pleasing listen. It is one of those rare albums that appeals to those who want to hear something fresh and new, while maintaining a certain radio-friendly pop sensibility.

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april, 2022

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