[Indie Rock]

Album Review: We Were Promised Jetpacks’ ‘Unravelling’

Annie Zaleski

Three and a half stars

We Were Promised Jetpacks Unravelling

The music of Scottish indie rockers We Were Promised Jetpacks has always landed somewhere between Explosions in the Sky’s cinematic ache and Mogwai’s turbulent roar.

In many respects, that hasn’t changed on the band’s third record, Unravelling; the autumnal instrumental “Peace of Mind” conjures the former, while “Peace Sign” and “Bright Minds” nod to the confrontational, stormy guitar tangles of the latter. And with added color from new member Stuart McGachan—most notably atmospheric synth burbles on opening track “Safety in Numbers”—and guidance from new producer Paul Savage (Franz Ferdinand, The Twilight Sad), Unravelling teeters between the band’s careening angst and its newfound embrace of deliberate arrangements and expanded instrumentation.

If anything, We Were Promised Jetpacks sound more deliberate and sophisticated than ever—from the humming indie pop of “Peaks and Troughs” to the voracious, bass-heavy, post-punk grind “I Keep It Composed.”

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