[sic] Magazine

We Were Promised Jetpacks – These Four Walls

Until an in-form and much-missed Idlewild return Messiah-like to our lives, those with a penchant for shouty, Scots indie-rock will have to content themselves with releases such as this. Despite many a lazy comparison with Frightened Rabbit and The Twilight Sad, all these boys really share with their compatriots is a thick tongue and a desire to impress. Jetpack’s (it’s easier) brand of rock is expansive and comes served with a generous helping of pop appeal, an appeal not at all evident however on the throbbing and menacing opener, ‘It’s Thunder And It’s Lightning’.

Starting in the fabled lull of the storm, it quickly introduces Thor’s own drums to an anthemic, if lyrically limited, rocker. Never sounding contemporary, yet singing of the modern Scotland portrayed in the ever-reliable Red Tops, this opener sings of someone “punching out my lights”, ‘Ships With Holes Will Sink’ about the inevitability of “stab wounds” as well as the attraction of adhesives. This last point could well be lost in translation though. Sadly, the latter of these tracks does not capture the primal excitement of the former, nor does ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves’, both nevertheless lollop along happily in safe, quiet-loud country.

‘Short Bursts’ returns These Four Walls to the ring fists balled for an oddly patriotic call-to-arms that will do more for Scottish solidarity than whichever sport they’re losing at this weekend. All this and they have still the time to combust with the power of Explosions In The Sky at its crescendo, confirming the post-rock, Mogwai-like influences that were suggested on the bubbling interlude ‘A Half Built House’.

‘Conductor’ returns the listen to sky-cracking grandiosity, all Arcade Fire bluster but fed on a diet of raw, Northerly winds and withdrawn promises of future technology. The acoustic onset of this track is as close as they come to fulfilling the mostly-misplaced Frightened Rabbit analogies. ‘Quiet Little Voices’ is an irresistible showcase of hi-hat, indie-club toe-tappin’, one perhaps overdone with emboldened ‘ooh oh a ohs’.

Jetpack clearly know their peers and are not afraid to borrow Biffy Clyro’s neat trick of repeating memorable lines first quietly and then IN CAPITALS. That they then choose to underline these examples with Kings of Leon’s own whoopin’ and a-hollerin’ on ‘Moving Clocks Run Slow’ is all the better. “Right foot followed by the left foo”’ they sing on ‘It’s Thunder And It’s Lightning’ and These Four Walls closes with that prediction on ‘An Almighty Thud’, less a God-bothering crash to earth, rather a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other, pensive walk home in the Scottish perma-drizzle. A walk home you’ll notice. Jetpacks indeed.