We Were Promised Jetpacks possess probably the most thematically loaded band name in the pantheon of indie rock. While FatCat label mates (and notable influences) Frightened Rabbit and The Twilight Sad also have names that emote in strange ways, “We Were Promised Jetpacks” is practically a short story in four words; an absurdly funny/sad thesis statement for a band known to punctuate their most heart wrenching and sprawling compositions with a wry smile ripe with bracing wit.
After witnessing WWPJP play their first concert ever in Pittsburgh last Thursday at Mr. Small’s, it’s obvious the Edinburgh group’s particular brand of concision doesn’t simplify their music and emotions so much as focus them. What resulted was a blistering wall of potent indie rock that proved to be epic beyond the usual anthemic signifiers of surging guitars and sing along choruses. Lead singer, guitarist and main songwriter Adam Thompson engaged the audience with his quietly devastating stage presence, blunt lyrics and steely dynamic musicianship, subtly revealing a performance of grand romantic gestures from a truly charismatic man. Continue reading