It was November of 2009. A drizzle covered the dark skies of Sheffield. The Uni rag asked me to cover We Were Promised Jetpacks at The Leadmill and S.A.D. was affecting me. It’s hard being in a strange country, one you maybe didn’t belong in.
The Flying Squad was yelling their lungs out, closing their set on a high note. Not much time passed and a few notes from ‘It’s thunder and it’s lightning’ made me a convert of the mighty church of We Were Promised Jetpacks. In that cold end of 2009, in a sea of sweaty Brits and spilled lager, I found a young band that energised me back into better moods. Through the years, there was always a track from them to go back to that night, recharge and soldier on. ‘Boy in the backseat’. ‘Peace of mind’. Yes. Always one track that was cathartic.
The More I Sleep, The Less I dream has a song like that. Its name is ‘Repeating Patterns’, it’s near the end of the album, and it’s the moment you realise We Were Promised Jetpacks have found their calling. Not their sound, I think they found that with their debut. What I mean is that through the ten tracks of this album, the band create a carnival of emotions. Tilt-a-whirls, hammerheads, pendulums, dark rides, drop towers. They are all here, and they are all e-tickets. A dazzling show of lights, sounds, and endearing memories.
There is a tenacity in this album that invigorates the listener. Listen to ‘Hanging in’ if you don’t believe me. The milder sounds of album opener ‘Impossible’ manage to convey an aura of sensibility that seeps every pore. ‘Improbable’ is a palate cleanser, a moment of calm between two draining tracks. It’s a wild emotional time in We Were Promised Jetpacks land.
‘Someone else’s problems’ feels rightfully apocalyptic, with the clockwork-like rhythm section always offering a safe haven to the wild guitar atmospheres, which hit you like a gale. Sometimes, the guitar work goes delicate, but still fierce. Case in point: ‘Not Wanted’, another brutal track that feels like the sweeping longing that fills you when the carnival shuts down for the day.
Nothing is impossible, no matter how improbable it might be. Maturity comes to us all, in one way or another. For We Were Promised Jetpacks, maturity seems to come with the gift of wisdom expressed through ferocious songs. They aren’t too loud, they never needed that. They found themselves after a long hiatus and that energy pulsates through the entirety of The More I Sleep, The Less I Dream.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López