Often linked to both Frightened Rabbit and The Twilight Sad (they’re all Scottish, at one time shared the same label and all three toured the US together many moons ago), We Were Promised Jetpacks have long ploughed their own furrow. It’s that of a gorgeously moody indie rock, with a beautiful sadness at its core, which also nods to other Scottish indie acts like Idlewild, Biffy Clyro (the Beggars Banquet years) and Mogwai. Following on from their first two albums, These Four Walls and In The Pit Of The Stomach, they’ve added a fifth member, multi-instrumentalist Stuart McGachan.
Having listened to this album several times, it’s clear that their newest member has wasted no time in making his presence felt. There’s piano and keyboards here now, not drowning out the guitars but adding a newer, exciting atmosphere to the mix. This was clear from the first track to do the rounds, album opener ‘Safety In Numbers’ but also on ‘Night Terror’ and ‘Peace Sign’ both of them amongst the highlights on this album.
Of course they’ve always been guitar-driven too, and there’s an exciting intensity that’s still at work here. This is a much more rewarding and worthwhile listen than much of the run of the mill indie guitar rock topping the charts and getting serious column inches of late. Far from unravelling, Jetpacks’ third album is their most accomplished yet. If there’s any justice, this will be the album that sees them leap into mainstream acceptance.
Unravelling is out on Fat Cat on October 6.