We Were Promised Jet Packs
In the Pit of the Stomach
Fat Cat Records
Maybe I’m weak on UK accent localization, but lead singer Adam Thompson reminds me of Jake Burns from Stiff Little Fingers. Yeah, he’s one island over, but still. The boys of We Were Promised Jet Packs play a noisy, jittery indie pop that starts by making you shout “turn that noise down!” but grows with repeated looping.
Their melodies are complex and obscure like a microtonal polyphony while Thompson’s vocals are somehow isolated from his bandmates’ endeavors. It sounds like he was recorded in a lively wood box while the rest of the band (Michael Palmer on guitar, Sean Smith on bass, Darren Lackie on drums) were tucked into a shag-carpet-covered recording studio with a bucket of deep-fried Scottish food, whatever that might be. Songs are urgent and pressing; a throbbing rhythm recalls riding a horse across the moors in search of refuge or vengeance. There are no fades or play outs, songs don’t end with a “shave and a hair cut” half-bar of music that takes you back to the opening note. Rather, they cut and fit their music to a more complex plan, and if you’re not in tune with it, don’t bother with reading liner notes as there are no clues hidden within.
Intriguing and challenging, this is one of the new bands you really ought to download to the old iWhatever. They don’t sound exactly like anything else I’ve heard lately, but they aren’t off in wackoville either. And who wouldn’t want one of their t-shirts to wear to DragonCon?