[30 March 2010]
Sound Affects Editor
The main factor that made We Were Promised Jetpacks stand out from like-minded contemporaries White Lies and Glasvegas (bands oddly intent on filtering neo post-punk strains through the prism of Coldplay’s yearning post-U2 anthemics) on their debut album These Four Walls (2009) was the rough vigor with which these Scots delivered their songs. That barely-restrained urgency in conjunction with the plaintive passion of Adam Thompson’s heavily-accented voice gave the album an unexpectedly gripping appeal.
The five-song The Last Place You’ll Look EP doesn’t have quite the same effect. Combining two reworked album cuts with three new recordings, The Last Place You’ll Look features the Edinburgh quartet holding back the intensity a tiny bit and slowing things down a little more in an attempt to gently test its boundaries. The EP is a decent effort even if every song seems to use the same arpeggiated rhythm guitar parts, but it’s noticeably hampered by the slight dampening of the group’s attack, which inadvertently robs the band’s music of much of the individuality and character it previously possessed. In particular, the revisited cuts are interesting variations that regardless shouldn’t replace their original incarnations on a personal playlist. While The Last Place You’ll Look has its moments due to Thompson’s vocals and Darren Lackie’s thunderous drumming (oh, is it ever a godsend whenever those epic drums appear), the music contained within is not as compelling as that from its full-length predecessor.