Back in March I saw We Were Promised Jetpacks for the third time. I’m always impressed when I catch their live show, but I was doubly impressed with some of the new stuff they were playing. There was a joy to it that you don’t find in their first two records. The beats were very nearly danceable, and I was immediately excited for what was to come on their next record. That release comes out this week, and it does not disappoint.
There’s still a lot of dark brooding all over Unravelling, but it isn’t as straightforward as In The Pit Of The Stomach or These Four Walls. As much as I love those records (so dear to me, honestly), they are a bit redundant. The new album blasts off into directions you probably never thought We Were Promised Jetpacks would ever attempt to go, and they succeed at every turn. This is their finest album and it isn’t close.
Adam Thomson lets his vocals dance around the beats and changes his role from guitarist/reluctant singer to bonafide frontman. On the albums best song, “Bright Minds,” Thompson’s voice keeps you on track while a million different things vie for your attention. It’s a hurricane of guitars and piano coming at you 200 miles per hour and he is the deep dark cellar that will keep you safe.
If you love the old WWPJ tunes and aren’t sure you’re ready for the band to move in a new direction, don’t worry. There’s something here for you, too. A six and a half minute instrumental called “Peace Of Mind” comes toward the end of the record, and it hits all those dark, anxiety-riddled notes you’ve come to expect from the band. Thomson and Michael Palmer get in some great guitar work, while Sean Smith and Darren Lackie continue to perform as a great rhythm section.
I’m really impressed by how much the band has matured in a short period of time. The growth from their last album to this one is immense. Can’t wait to see them live again. The album comes out next week, and they’ll be on tour in the States October 20th through November 22nd. Here in Chicago they hit The Vic on October 24th.