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We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9.5
Musicianship 9.25
Lyrics 8
Production 8.75
Creativity 8.25
Lasting Value 9.25
Reviewer Tilt 9.75
Final Verdict: 90%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.25
Musicianship 8.88
Lyrics 8.25
Production 9
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 8.13
Reviewer Tilt 9.25
Average: 87%
Inside AP.net

We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls

Reviewed by: Blake Solomon (06/12/09)
We Were Promised JetpacksThese Four Walls
Record Label: FatCat Records
Release Date: June 15 (UK/Europe) / July 7 (USA)


I’ve found a curious pattern within myself: I tend to begin positive reviews with negative overtones. The mini-psychiatrist in me pinpoints two reasons: A.) I’ve read a lot of comic books, so the way a “good” band overthrows the “evil” of bad bands/trends/clothes has always intrigued me, or B.) I’m a little brother and we tend to be pessimistic about life’s many challenges. And so naturally bad music is slain by the victors, in this case We Were Promised Jetpacks. The metaphorical (but devious!) plot’s specifics are unimportant, but still I find myself chanting victoriously as These Four Walls fades away via ironically delicate closer “An Almighty Thud.” It’s in this rare moment of acoustic-led balladry that vocalist Adam Thompson holds in while letting go. His heavy Scottish accent in full view, he presents a changing of the guards in what is necessary to lead a rock band. And I don’t feel stupid at all when I say that Thompson and We Were Promised Jetpacks triumph majestically.

It’s hard to fit everything good about modern British rock into one record. We’ve seen it done on rare occasions these past few years (The Twilight Sad, Johnny Foreigner, VHS Or Beta, wait, what?), and yet WWPJ do plenty of creative engineering on These Four Walls. Ignoring Thompson’s accent, it is still possible to hear the similarity of bands like Twilight Sad or even Frightened Rabbits. Lyric-heavy rock dependent on off-kilter climaxes and old-world instrumentation defines this record, but it’s as if WWPJ hit the Fast Forward button. “Moving Clocks Run Slow” and “Quiet Little Voices” erupt into drunken singalongs or bass-led dancehall bliss. It’s more post-punk than folk-rock and Holy Crap if that isn’t music (pun, baby!) to my ears.

The excitement a good bassline brings still astounds me. On “Roll Up Your Sleeves” bassist Sean Smith is our grooving pied piper; his interaction with drummer Darren Lackie, particularly on “Ships With Holes Will Sink” is perhaps the Easter Egg of 2009. I mean, if I can go fanboy for one second, this album has made me seriously consider what I previously thought to be great or even good music. Life would become boring if every band sounded like We Were Promised Jetpacks, or maybe it wouldn't. Sadly we'll never know.

You don’t have to believe such self-assuring drivel of course, but on “It’s Thunder And It’s Lightning” a mighty artifact of songwriting genius presents itself. And to think, it’s only the first song! And to think again, it’s not even the best song! The lyrics aren’t spectacular, but for being the first you hear, they fit: “Right foot / followed by your left foot / Guide you home before your curfew / And into your bed / Standing on your tiptoes / Peering through open windows / I swear I heard my name.” A single chainsawing guitar and some tinkering bells are our only guide to the frenetic onslaught that lies ahead. If you’re one of those people always waiting for the Next Big Moment, this is it. And as I said: it’s the first song! Thompson unleashes his first emotional rasps, and while guitars bellow post-rockishly, the bass and drums pound into the fertile Scottish soil. One song grabs us before the following 10 blow by to create an otherworldly thrill. These Four Walls is that special album where all we want to do is soak it in, learn its eccentricities, and of course, tell the world.


Recommended If You Like: Frightened Rabbits meets Foals, The Twilight Sad meets Futureheads, gold, Vampire Weekend meets Travis, gold toilets


Uncomfortable bearablewww.myspace.com/wewerepromisedjetpacks
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 39
11:46 AM on 06/12/09
#2
thehereaway
snickers at the swine flu
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Great review, great band.
11:54 AM on 06/12/09
#3
ddb43
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Great review, and I'm digging their stuff on myspace...a lot.
12:05 PM on 06/12/09
#4
boysdontcry17
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like The Twilight Sad?count interested
12:11 PM on 06/12/09
#5
c_rob2700
believe that we have lost our eyes
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Fact: Anything containing the word "jetpacks" has to be awsome
12:38 PM on 06/12/09
#6
Jeremy Aaron
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Nice review - except for one ill-advised Drew Beringer moment, when you use "delicious" to describe music, as if we're all synesthetes.

Does every band on FatCat have to have a vocalist with a "heavy Scottish accent"? I think it's a prerequisite.
12:43 PM on 06/12/09
#7
Blake Solomon
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Nice review - except for one ill-advised Drew Beringer moment, when you use "delicious" to describe music, as if we're all synesthetes.

Does every band on FatCat have to have a vocalist with a "heavy Scottish accent"? I think it's a prerequisite.
first, that was in the last paragraph, which implies you read the whole thing. That's rad, thanks! second, I had to look up the word "synesthetes" because, well, I'm illiterate. I understood it once I read it, but I guess I had never actually heard the word for it. Third, I changed it, as you're right, I think I had already hit my lame metaphor quota much, much earlier in this review. You rule.
01:32 PM on 06/12/09
#8
Jeremy Aaron
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first, that was in the last paragraph, which implies you read the whole thing. That's rad, thanks! second, I had to look up the word "synesthetes" because, well, I'm illiterate. I understood it once I read it, but I guess I had never actually heard the word for it. Third, I changed it, as you're right, I think I had already hit my lame metaphor quota much, much earlier in this review. You rule.
Haha. I definitely didn't mean that as a criticism. I guess it's pretty much a guarantee that if I laugh when I'm typing something, it's definitely not funny.
03:18 PM on 06/12/09
#9
Blake Solomon
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Haha. I definitely didn't mean that as a criticism. I guess it's pretty much a guarantee that if I laugh when I'm typing something, it's definitely not funny.
oh, well, you're smarter than me (I?), so I just went ahead and changed it. I like the word frenetic anyway, gives a better description and makes me sound more "critique-y." No worries, and at least I learned a new word today!
05:04 PM on 06/12/09
from debris
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amazing. never would have known about them if you had not reviewed this. THANK YOU
05:15 PM on 06/12/09
Blake Solomon
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amazing. never would have known about them if you had not reviewed this. THANK YOU
that's cool and what we're all about here. Good on ya!
10:08 PM on 06/12/09
hockeyguitar99
Prison Strength
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I'm gonna check this out. Good review Blake.
11:02 PM on 06/12/09
gr33ndayfr3ak
www.nickferran.com
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Foals, Vampire Weekend, and Travis RIYLs AND Johnny Foreigner is name dropped?!
How could I not check these guys out?
Needless to say, Blake, excellent review. As always.
01:19 AM on 06/13/09
Ryzenfall
makin' good time
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Best band name ever.
02:03 AM on 06/13/09
Smeee
AP.net's Resident Staryu
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Best band name ever.
Agreed. They deserve to be listened to because of that, let alone the music haha.
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