For Edinburgh post punk rockers We Were Promised Jetpacks, it’s all about legacy. Up to this point it’s been the legacy of others under which they have carved a path. All of those wonderful Scottish indie bands which continuously emerge with their own brand of creative energy.
But with the release of Unraveling, We Were Promised Jetpacks look set to lay the foundation of their own legacy.
The LP is their first in three years, following on from 2011’s In The Pit Of The Stomach, and the sense of anticipation amongst their rather sizable following is almost tangible – and no wonder. To date everything this band do is greeted with critical acclaim.
To say the LP is the band’s first release in three years and not offer a brief explanation as to why would be an injustice. This quartet have developed a high profile live performance which has taken them around the world and includes a set at New York’s Rockerfeller Center. Armed with an anthemic sound which has been described as arena ready, We Were Promised Jetpacks are certainly no strangers to the festival scene either.
So what of the new LP?..
Unraveling will be seen as the band’s most important offering to date, and with good reason. After what will be termed as a three year absence despite a gruelling touring schedule, a continuation of what has gone before will not suffice. This LP must be bigger – it must be better.
Opening track Safety in Numbers delivers with that authentic Edinburgh vocal. The track is a reflective yet explosive evaluation and a volatile mix of youthful energy and a sound which is both distinctive and resoundingly established. Throw some heavy guitar riffs in the mix along with jazzy yet subtle piano and the upshot is electric. And it’s this theme that carries us into next offering, Peaks and Troughs.
Here we explore the vocal range of Adam Thompson as pulsating bass holds aloft layers of swirling backing vocals. The track signs off with a haunting and lonely single guitar tone, masterfully paving the way for the directional change heralded by I Keep It Composed.
No hint of any intro here – this one is matter of fact and straight to the point. The track is an exciting blend of regimental, high octane drums and an escort of powerful chords whilst the record maintains its tempo.
The LP signs off with the captivating Ricochet – a track as spellbinding as it is uplifting, and a glimpse at what I’m going to call the tender side of We Were Promised Jetpacks.
So, three years in the making and it’s fair to say Unraveling carries with it not such as even a hint of ‘timely reminder.’ Rather it will serve as the progressive step for which it was fully intended.
This could be the LP of the Fall. More than a step in the right direction – a sound unique, and all of a sudden a legacy all of their own.