Fifteen years after they formed, these Scottish rockers are still grumbling about The Lack Of Jetpackery. The More I Sleep The Less I Dream, their fourth LP but first for Big Scary Monsters (Blakfish, Minus The Bear), finds We Were Promised Jetpacks turning in another collection of emoish, post-rockish, post-hardcoreish indie anthems. Very much of the Idlewild/Biffy Clyro/The Twilight Sad school.
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Judging by their name it sounds like they should have sent this record to our help email address where they could have better registered their customer service complaint. I am merely the music listener; I had nothing to do with the Norman Records jetpack-promising policy. I also have never listened to this band of loudly galavanting Scottish indie rockers before, but their massive and decidedly overwrought sound certainly fits the mould of something I would’ve listened to in my second year of university. So I’m all in, baby.
They’re going for it so hard that I initially thought they were a post-rock band; “Impossible” is all crystalline guitars and smashing build, seemingly never happy at the altitude it’s reached. Sounding like Frightened Rabbit meeting God Is an Astronaut with a couple of inventive bonus riffs, it is exactly the kind of opener you want if your record is going to continuously blow off the roof. And so it does: “In Light” is a little slicker and faster, but it’s got the same expansive, skygazing production and loudly mastered guitars. “Make It Easier” screeches and squeals its distorted melodies, bashing down every possible door with their intro before resting for a lil’ bit in the verse and then smashing it all over again.
This is festival-slot demanding music: it’s so loud and raucous, and yet so deeply contained in the indie rock tradition, that I can only imagine how good it would be hearing it at in a sentimentally aggy crowd at 4pm. Even the softer, more sublime moments are tectonic: “Improbable” has the soft, foggy guitar slides of a Daughter song mixed with post-rock samples, sounding off with the shimmer of a good Sigur Ros soundtrack tune. You simply cannot keep them down. They were promised jetpacks and they’ll die before they surrender to any other reality.
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