We Were Promised Jetpacks is growing, as did the length of this post’s title with their long band name and long album title. The members of the Scottish indie band are now in their 30s and have grown-up lives, so they did some reevaluating before deciding to work on their fourth studio album, The More I Sleep the Less I Dream. Aging like a fine wine, the band created nine tracks that are well-crafted, cohesive, and very interesting. And, like the band, each song grows and goes through its own evolution, too.
“Impossible,” the opening track, initially seems like an ambient song. There’s no vocals, the guitars start up like they’ve awoken at dawn, building up into a wall of sound with the distant rumble of drums. Then, 1 minute and 40 seconds into the 4:47 track, the guitars go quiet and the vocals begin over the ever-present drums, with the guitar slowly creeping back in a response to the vocals. Then the vocals and wall of sound build together, reaching their crescendo together, before fading to the end. The song evolves in unexpected ways, but it all happens smoothly. While “Impossible” and “Hanging In” are the best examples, nearly every track (with the exception of “Improbable,” which is more of a lengthy interlude at 1:47) twists and turns through sonic landscapes. The songs move between crashing walls of sound and more delicate melodies. The electric guitar riffs really steal the show, often competing with the extremely Scottish vocals.
Yes, I said extremely Scottish. Unlike Garbage or Travis, which also have Scottish singers (but you wouldn’t know from hearing them sing,) you know where frontman Adam Thompson is from. He delivers self-deprecating lyrics in a range that goes from moody introspection to a full yell, often in the same song (like “Hanging In.”) The accent can make some of the lyrics tough to make out, especially when the emotion starts flowing, but ones you can understand are relatable and clever.
It was almost tough to review this because I can’t find a fault with it. The worst I came up with was that there were a few points where songs started to sound like dated mid-‘00s indie rock, but within a few seconds, the song would continue its evolution and my critique would be moot. The songs are each interesting on their own, but they also go together well. It was even tough to pick up a stand-out song between “Hanging In” and “When I Know More.” After struggling to find something to write about, I realized it’s just a solid album. It has earned the highest rating I’ve ever given a reviewed album on Surviving the Golden Age, so you should probably listen to that song below.