Artist: We Were Promised Jetpacks
Title: “These Four Walls”
Format: Digital (Spotify)
Scotland’s We Were Promised Jetpacks’ debut platter, “These Four Walls,” leans as heavily on singer Adam Thompson’s Edinburgh accent as it does Darren Lackie’s booming drum work.
“Ships With Holes Will Sink” is the perfect measure of both, with Thompson passionately vocalizing as Lackie hammers with matching intensity.
The best track on Four Walls, however, is “Keeping Warm” – a title that reflects a lyrical theme that appears in several places on the record. For the first four minutes of the eight-minute cut, the song builds behind Lackie’s work before waning into punchy indie rock.
The tendency among reviewers is to compare WWJP to Frightened Rabbit since the fellow Edinburghians were a conduit to We Were Promised Jetpacks’ discovery, but the group feels like a Scottish, less-polished version of Brooklyn’s The National, trading Matt Berninger’s honey baritone for Thompson’s adroit brogue.
Though starting well with “It’s Thunder and it’s Lightning” and “Ships” and wrapping with “Keeping Warm” and “An Almighty Thud,” “Four Walls” drags a bit in the middle as “Conductor” lacks direction and “This is My House, This is My Home” feels too simplistic.
Nonetheless, there are treasures inside “These Four Walls” for those who go looking for them.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.