by Kyle Taylor
I fought with myself a bit on whether or not to post this latest album from We Were Promised Jetpacks. It certainly qualifies as quality music, but I was unsure how strongly it would reach our audience. Ultimately, Funkadelphia is here to get new music out to new ears though. So with that in mind, I present you with Unravelling.
Hailing from Scotland, We Were Promised Jetpacks is a band with roots most easily described as alternative rock. Their first two albums, These Four Walls and In the Pit of the Stomach, took on a strong post-punk revival sound. The latest record, however, takes a turn from that sound.
Unravelling replaces climatic shouts of frustration with mournful cries of longing- those two might sound to be the same thing at first glance, but compare while listening to the actual records and the distinction will become clear. The feeling is much the same from its predecessors, but the delivery is quite different. Overall, the album takes on a much calmer element. The result is a skillfully composed record, but one that at times fails to retrieve the same level of emotional investment from the listener as its precursors; although, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Rather than pleading for attention through thickly reverberating guitar lines and violent shouts, We Were Promised Jetpacks finds a more composed and refined way to convey their messages.
Being the third full-length record in the band’s career, this tweak in sounds comes somewhat predictably. However, that predictability is in no way detrimental to the originality of the songs or the smoothness of the sound. The band’s second studio album spent time refining the proposed sound of their first record, while Unravelling spends time developing entirely new ideas.
The album seems to operate best cohesively. Certain songs are certainly able to stand on their own, but when absorbed in a single sitting, the album uncovers a story of desperation and complacency. To that effect, the sound of the record very much reflects that same feeling of complacency, constructing tracks that constantly develop, but never really reach any climax.