Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Track Review: Scottish Emo Flying Devices, Or A Lack Thereof

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Coming to you from the same label that brought you Frightened Rabbit (owners of the best album of 2008, at least in our humble opinion) is We Were Promised Jetpacks, a young foursome out of Glasgow. Based on the level of emotional dismay on display on debut album These Four Walls, these Scots are fucking pissed that they never received those jetpacks.

Most of the discussion around this band revolves around whether or not they should be considered that-genre-which-shalt-not-be-named. Oh, alright, I'll say it: emo. I felt you shudder there. I, for one, would opine that no, they wouldn't fall under that umbrella. As proof, I present "Conductor", a five-and-a-half-minute long monster that starts at a whisper and ends with waves of delicious drone and harmonies.

I will admit that at times on the album the lead vocalist can drift off into some emo histrionics. On "Conductor", though, he stays restrained, allowing the melody to let his aching lyrics soar without pushing too hard. The aforementioned melody is simple but perfect, propelled on by the insistent drumming.

No, these guys are nowhere near as refined as Frightened Rabbit. They too often try and make each song a grandiose statement. But what we see in "Conductor" is the potential of what this band could be if they could strike a balance between the minimal and the maximal. As it is, These Four Walls is one of the more confident debuts of 2009. With a little growth, mentioning them and Frightened Rabbit in the same sentence might not just be as lip service to the fact that they're both from Glasgow and on the same label. Expect great things.

We Were Promised Jetpacks - "Conductor" (Download)

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