October 22, 2009
We’ve been hearing rumblings about We Were Promised Jetpacks for several months now. And the earthquake has now cut my meagre office in half. Split right down the middle. We first heard them beamed in from KEXP Seattle one lazy afternoon. The name had already popped up in a few reviews here and there… the name piqued our interest – part horrible emo, part new possibilities. We figured it was the sign of a band that could go one of only two ways: absolute dreck, or uplifting and spirited.
Thank god it was the latter.
When listening to this album (and we emphasize ALBUM), its as though a dusty window is slowly been wiped clear in front of you. The mature words of young Adam Thompson revealing quiet humanisms, small moments, the trial and triumph of the human spirit.
“Right foot. Followed by your left foot.” The fury of Its Thunder And Its Lightning fuses with the story of a boy, a small town, and growing up. Conductor provides the album’s emotional and conceptual centre, a bulging emotional toure de force. Half Built House and This Is My House, This Is My Home are the most obvious of several domicile-related songs with imagery that pepper the album with youthful visions of home, and what home means. And if Conductor is the emotional take-off, Quiet Little Voices is the finger pointed in your face, telling you exactly what this is all about.
These Four Walls is everything Bloc Party wishes it could’ve maintained. It is a powerful, churning and utterly real album. In an age of fake indie and fake mainstream and bands that seem to pop up then disappear, We Were Promised Jetpacks show the promise of a band that might just stick around for awhile, to continue to speak to us, to reveal things about themselves, and in turn reveal things about us.
The warble in Thompson’s voice could be our own. Or it could be a voice from another world. Or maybe its just a voice from Scotland.