Album Review
We Were Promised Jetpacks - The Last Place... Album Cover

We Were Promised Jetpacks - The Last Place...

Reviewed by
We Were Promised Jetpacks - The Last Place You'll Look EP
Record Label: FatCat Records
Release Date: March 9, 2010
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Hindsight is hard to learn, and it is something we must learn. Nobody is born with the ability to analyze their past. On the other hand, the easiest phrase in any language is, “I think you should…” We love nothing more than to offer up suggestion after trainwreck suggestion to our dearest friends and family. It’s like when someone yells at a horror movie. Sure the answer is easy when you’re sitting in a safe audience with a big tub of popcorn hiding your erect penis. But jump into that abandoned warehouse at dusk and see if you know which door not to open.

This unforgiving learning slope – curve? This isn’t a math website – is why most EPs featuring songs with a modifier like “alternative version” fail so readily. I think it’s safe to say We Were Promised Jetpacks took a risk on The Last Place You’ll Look EP, which contains Xanaxed versions of the band’s jittery post-Scot-punk. A formerly uproarious rock song like “Short Bursts” loses not only its ratatat punches, but also a minute of its runtime. Playing both versions back to back creates a strange sensation: all at once I want this slow, quiet version to create a refreshing lull on These Four Walls, and yet I want the rapidfire movements of the older version to rouse this sleepy little compilation. But I will say, when Adam Thompson sings, “Sit back / Loosen your ties / And loosen your knots” over an achingly beautiful violin, it seems right. Whether this was the right way all along is a moot point, because at this moment it works.

And despite a new song called “With the Benefit of Hindsight,” I believe WWPJ subscribe to the notion that what is good now is good enough. My intention is not to downplay memories, nostalgia, photo albums, etc. I simply mean that what you feel now, even about something in the past, is not a past tense sort of thing. Even though past events are set in stone, our memories are much more fluid. One day “This Is My House, This Is My Home” sounds perfect as an elegiac piano ballad that explodes like a Bluebonnet in a Texas spring, and the next it is contentedly calm, as it is here on The Last Place You’ll Look. While the drums may boom with a certain Revolutionary War-style drive, it never becomes a rock song. Each version has a proper place. And even though the original song was one of the most endearing, this murkier rendition creates new emotions entirely. Whereas the old version pushes us out of the trapped confines of, ahem, those four walls, this new version seemingly proves that what’s inside isn’t so bad. We aren’t allowed to leave but we don’t really need to.

And you know, sure, this is clearly a review written by a mess of a human being. But the best part is, I’m not sure if I felt like this before the EP or after. I’m inclined to think that it unlocked something, which, sure, is super cliché and I can almost hear your gags from here. I wholly admit to the lackluster analysis in this review, and I understand why people hate such drivel. But to me, the drivel that flows from a cathedral-sized chorus like the one on new song “A Far Cry” is the only thing that still matters. I have no idea if this is good music made by good musicians. The only thing that’s clear right now, and maybe will ever be clear, is that I can only know what I want from this very moment. After that, it’s all up for interpretation.

Recommended If You Like: Frightened Rabbits, The Twilight Sad, Biffy Clyro

Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 16
07:32 AM on 04/17/10
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ninthandash's Avatar
Love these guys, but they aren't exactly shaking their reputation as the Scottish Get Up Kids by having an EP called "The Last Place You Look" lol
07:39 AM on 04/17/10
I just need reassurance.
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Shakriel's Avatar
Definitely will check out. Love their album.
08:12 AM on 04/17/10
Modern Leper
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Modern Leper's Avatar
The full-length is amazing, this... not so much. They need the urgency.
09:13 AM on 04/17/10
Don't Mind If I Didn't
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Roboman's Avatar
Eh, I want to like these guys because of their name, but I've tried a few times and the vocalist's voice is just hard for me to get into. I think the Scottish accent sounds cool, but his voice just...isn't that great. Maybe eventually it will click for me.
09:31 AM on 04/17/10
Knows the words to 'Bye Bye Bye'
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S9Dallasoz's Avatar
Dig 'em live.
On record, not as much.
09:47 AM on 04/17/10
Minutes away, but miles apart
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ambulance's Avatar
The b-sides/demos of these songs are like ten times better to me. Still, these guys rule.
04:22 PM on 04/17/10
You're not real musician!
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introduction's Avatar
Loved the album, will definitely check this out.
05:45 PM on 04/17/10
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BlackAxxe's Avatar
I think I heard these guys live? They were playing the Edinburgh new year street party with a few other bands but I got really messed up and barely remember frightened rabbit, lame.
07:47 PM on 04/17/10
and then what happens?
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spansen's Avatar
how introspective, blake.
07:57 PM on 04/17/10
Wiw-yum Penn Eye-way!
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yourbiggestflan's Avatar
definitely will give this another spin. all i really checked out was a far cry and thought it was alright. LOVE these four walls. i could see myself getting into this now...
03:05 AM on 04/18/10
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DogSizedBird's Avatar
I love this band. Saw them on a whim at Monolith Festival and was blown away.
02:24 PM on 04/18/10
Registered User
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kate_vox's Avatar
haven't heard this yet, but love the full length.
stumbled upon these guys at SXSW this year and was blown away!
04:07 PM on 04/18/10
I'll buy you a raincoat
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Yellowcard2006's Avatar
I hear these guys are like a scottish get up kids.
07:29 AM on 04/19/10
Where are your friends tonight?
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undonesweater93's Avatar
Love these guys, but they aren't exactly shaking their reputation as the Scottish Get Up Kids by having an EP called "The Last Place You Look" lol
that doesn't sound so bad

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