Review: We Were Promised Jetpacks – Bowery Ballroom , NYC

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02/12/2010

Excellent things to come out of Scotland: kilts, bagpipes, Irn Bru, lochs, and most importantly, the music. For a country so small in size, it is absolutely overflowing with great talents. Over the past decade, some of the biggest acts to find success in the States have been bands from Scotland, such as Franz Ferdinand, The Fratellis, Belle and Sebastian, Travis, Arab Strap, The Twilight Sad, Frightened Rabbit, and Glasvegas just to name a few. But coming out in the forefront of these newbies is Edinburgh’s We Were Promised Jetpacks; whose name is incredibly fitting for the lack of jetpacks the 2000s has brought us!

Jetpacks’ debut album, These Four Walls, is not even a year old, yet it has the ability to sound like an instant classic the first time you hear it. While it is a beautifully striking album, there’s nothing better than hearing lead singer, Adam Thompson, belt out his intense vocals live. Marking the start of their US tour, including South by Southwest dates, We Were Promised Jetpacks played to an overly sold out crowd at Bowery Ballroom this past Thursday.

At first glance (or listen), their music sounds awfully similar to fellow Scots, and hype band, Frightened Rabbit, but Jetpacks’ music is stronger, immediate, and more powerful. The crowd at Bowery, filled with a generous dose of Scots was hanging on their every word. The band looks like they’re fresh off the football field, but that’s what makes the juxtaposition of their look and sound so interesting, because it’s so rare. You don’t expect such a commanding voice from Thompson, occasionally sans microphone, to sweep over all of Bowery with such ease. The only thing fighting to overtake the vocals was the crowd shouting them back – making for We Were Promised Jetpacks’ late night set to be short, but oh so sweet… not like Irn Bru!

Band info: http://www.myspace.com/wewerepromisedjetpacks

Sarah Pesin

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