Years ago, some overpaid, under-thinking individual told the artists that would become Silibil n’ Brains to sound less Scottish, that it would only be associated with the Proclaimers. This idea that an accent somehow categorizes a group into a box they cannot escape is pure nonsense. Case in point, Scotland’s own We Were Promised Jetpacks.
All honesty up front, I’ve been listening to We Were Promised Jetpacks since their debut These Four Walls in 2009. Perplexingly, I’ve never poured my thoughts into review form; until now. From the debut, through In the Pit of the Stomach (2011), Unravelling (2014), and the criminally underrated 2018 release of The More I Sleep the Less I Dream, the Scottish post-punk, indie/alt rock sounds of We Were Promised Jetpacks have been meticulously constructed and profoundly executed. Their latest release Enjoy The View adds to this linage and proves one thing: it is about damn time We Were Promised Jetpacks get the international respect they deserve.
Departing the instant-static swells of 2018’s The More I Sleep The Less I Dream, Enjoy The View brings forth a sonic methodology that is a direct result of WWPJ’s drive to create, even in the face of a global pandemic. Too articulate to be pure garage rock, or strictly the explosive builds we’ve come to know over the years, the fourth record in a fifteen-year career, seeing the amicable departure of Michael Palmer and his guitar, is introspective and an ever-so-subtle change of pace for the now trio. Holding the ebb and flow of the rock sound, the run of “What I Know,” “If It Happens,” and “I Wish You Well” shifts the first third of the record into a nod to where they’ve been before accelerating at their own pace into the future. No less hypnotic and continuing to grow, the newest record drives a stake of starkly honest emotion through the heart.
I couldn’t imagine anyone telling the trio of Adam Thompson, Sean Smith and Darren Lackie to be less than what they are, accent included. It is very quickly obvious the lasting impression of Enjoy The View is intensely reflective. No, We Were Promised Jetpacks isn’t going “soft” nor are they losing the qualities that have drawn so many ears. Enjoy The View is a slight deviation of trajectory in a heavy dose of cathartic release. To us, it is a perfect soundtrack to long walks on late summer days. To We Were Promised Jetpacks, well, time will tell. Until then, we’ll just Enjoy The View.