Profile: We Were Promised Jetpacks

Last week I promised to follow up one of my candidates for the regular album review at a later date. So here is is ... Well, kind of. The problem is you see is that I have this theory about first albums - so when I acquire a 'second album', even if I really like it (which I do here), I can't help myself but to check out the debut LP too - and nine times out of ten I find I like it even more ... So instead, feel free to file this more in the line of a profile.

Edinburgh band We Were Promised Jetpacks (in my opinion the finest bandname I've heard in years), released their latest album In the Pit of the Stomach a month ago at the start of October, following up on the success of 2009's These Four Walls. Check out lead single Medicine below:

The band played their first gig at their school's 'battle of the bands' competition, which they won. The four-piece eventually relocated to Glasgow:

"There was a time when we first moved to Glasgow ... and started playing proper gigs in proper venues. Playing in Edinburgh before was weird as we were underage, so ended up playing some odd nights. Which was cool, but when we moved to Glasgow we were of drinking age and we started playing places like Sleazy’s and whatnot. We felt like a proper band."

Quiet Little Voices by We Were Promised Jetpacks on GroovesharkA support slot on tour with Frightened Rabbit followed and by the summer of 2009, WWPJ had signed with Fat Cat Records and released their debut LP These Four Walls from which my favourite track, Quiet Little Voices comes. Retrospectively compared to the latest release, the debut could be said to be not quite as polished, but more raw, punchier ... That being my main reason for ever-so-slightly preferring it - That's just me though, my aforementioned theory runs something along the lines of debuts being generally made up of songs primarily written to be played live, rather than written to appear on an album.

Anyway, my wee theory aside - I completely recommend both albums as worthwhile additions to anyone's collection. There's moments listening to WWPJ when the spiky ghost of U2's early (pre-Joshua Tree) material leaks out of the songs, alongside a rhythm section leaning towards the sound of edgy, early Cure or Joy Division. Back that up with some cracking songs, and stick it in a studio with a 21st century veneer of post-rock 'epic noise' and the result is a damn site better than the sum of my analytical parts...

As loth as I am to plug another music video site - I can't help but include a snippet (show closer It's Thunder and It's Lightning) from moshcam.com's recent full gig coverage of the band at London's XOYO venue. It really is quite astonishingly good;

We Were Promised Jetpacks have just completed a successful tour of the US and are currently back on home turf again before heading out to the rest of Europe. So if you get a chance to go see them; Just do it!... UK dates through December as follows:

  • 3rd - Newcastle Cluny
  • 4th - Birmingham Hare & Hounds
  • 5th - Norwich Arts Centre
  • 6th - Nottingham Bodega
  • 7th - Bristol The Cooler
  • 8th - Dublin Whelan's
  • 9th - Liverpool Masque Theatre
  • 16th - Glasgow ABC

we were promised jetpacks links
WWPJ Homepage | iTunes | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Fat Cat Records