Good timing can prove crucial when releasing a first album and Edinburgh’s We Were Promised Jetpacks couldn’t have timed the release of their debut LP These Four Walls much better. In the post-breakthrough hiatus of Frightened Rabbit and The Twilight Sad, indie aficionados have been pining for another tartan-clad troupe upon which to pin their adulation. So fresh from successful releases from their aforementioned FatCat label mates now it’s the turn of the Glaswegian four-piece.
The album bursts open with bristling opening track, ‘It’s Thunder And Lightning’. Appropriately titled, it begins with a single chain-sawing guitar and some tinkering bells that explode in a frenetic onslaught and a full-blown bellow from singer, Adam Thompson: “Your body was black and blue! / your body was black and blue!”.
While the opening track exhibits Thompson’s, thick Scottish accent and gruff vocal delivery, another of the album’s early highlights, ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves’, reveals a softer side to his temperament: “Stay calm, stay calm / keep warm, keep warm” he pleads. Beginning as an angular slice of indie-disco and ending as little more than a lullaby, the track neatly bridges the album’s pulsating start and the more melancholic nature of its midsection.
Towards the end of the album, ‘Short Bursts’ picks up the tempo with its restrained frustrations, allowing moments of powerful expression. We Were Promised Jetpacks are a young rock band and with their heads-down-no-nonsense-boogie making a sublime racket it’s a slight surprise that the album ends not with a bang but ‘An Almighty Thud’, an acoustic slab of melancholy offset by the electric fuzz bleeding through from the periphery. Packing plenty of classic indie rock strength and intensity with impeccable musicianship, These Four Walls is a brave and honest debut.