We Were Promised Jetpacks: These Four Walls
Opening with a lone guitar line that itself has all the momentum of entire genres crammed into a single set of chords, We Were Promised Jetpacks' These Four Walls signifies a debut album that has the sort of peerlessness and potential to stand as a mainstay and luminary of indie music in the 21st century.
The band's youthful energy (their average age at the time was 21) explodes thunderously as colossal choruses fall unfailingly into place. Every space is filled, tension bristling achingly in Thompson's vocal delivery as the rest of the band crashes around him with a perfect balance of force and harmony. The romanticism and accessibility of a pure pop sensibility is never hidden too deep. Both "Roll Up Your Sleeves" and "Quiet Little Voices" capture this beautifully and immediately. The product of Ken Thomas' (Sigur Ros, Cocteau Twins, David Bowie etc.) studio mastery and Peter Katis' (Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad, The National etc.) mixing, the recording of These Four Walls was almost entirely live, with only minimal overdubs, and the band members' collected passion and intuition is translated into a pure, precise form, at once powerful and delicate.