You're winning me over

For a change, today I'm going to write about a new album from a Scottish band. Imagine that. At this juncture, I might as well rename this site something like Aye Tunes. Oh, wait. From Glasgow, We Were Promised Jetpacks have not only a terrific name but, in 'Quiet Little Voices', one of the catchiest singles I've heard all year. Comparisons with the Futureheads will abound because of the "woah-oh-ohs" that everyone ought to shout along with. And, happily bucking the trend I've mentioned before, 'Quiet Little Voices' isn't even the first track on the record.

What of the rest of their debut album, 'These Four Walls'? Two words: Drums and Accents.

Oh, you want more words than that? They remind me of the great Northern Irish band Jetplane Landing, not just because of the aeronautical themed band name, but both like to meld riffs with massive choruses and songs that go in about six different directions. 'Short Bursts', for instance, begins with drums being rolled down a hill, then some chords hammered in isolation, then just a pounding wall of sound for a minute, then the repeated instruction to sit back and loosen your ties, and then back to the rolling drums, then some vocals over those drums, then he shouts "We'll teach you to die!" and then the wall of sound for another minute. I love how the opener, 'It's Thunder and It's Lightning' kicks things off, with a really plaintive discussion of walking before running, quite delicate, and then those bastard drums kick in and shake things up like a snowglobe.

There's a lengthy track called 'Keeping Warm' towards the end, which is nice enough as a gently building instrumental, but it lost me before its eight minutes were up, and then the album closes, quite literally, with 'An Almighty Thud'. Well, that's the name of the track, but musically it's anything but - the album's only moment of quietness, just Adam Thompson's voice, an acoustic guitar, and some feedback. I do like albums that end peacefully, and so the change in gears is welcome, but I wish there'd been a little more variety in the record prior to the last song. I don't mean within each song, where there are plenty of shifts and speed-ups. But a couple more slow songs might make their next album a bit less exhausting. Maybe I'm just getting old.

[We Were Promised Jetpacks official / myspace]


Jim said...

thought quite similarly. Quiet Little Voices is brilliant, but the rest is a wee bit samey. Better than Broken Records though, where the samey gets actively annoying after a while.

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