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Noise Pop Last Night: We Were Promised Jetpacks

Saturday night at Slim’s, Scotland’s latest chug-a-pint-and-shout-along indie import We Were Promised Jetpacks plowed through a straight-ahead 50-minute set that was short on the chit-chat but heavy on the rocking. With aggressive guitars and the big-piped vocals of Adam Thompson, We Were Promised Jetpacks overcame some curiously poor acoustics (read: ear-bleeding feedback that none of the openers experienced) to delight the packed house.

“Your body was black and blue,” the crowd sang repeatedly as an open-mouthed Thompson stepped back from the microphone on “It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning,” a song that evokes countless UK films about abusive and alcoholic fathers. The dark and earnest lyrics almost make you feel guilty for enjoying the sing-along so much.

At any point in the show, We Were Promised Jetpacks could sound like a dozen seminal bands over the past thirty years, from early U2, to the Smiths, even to Bloc Party. There was a throwback feeling to the entire evening. During “Roll Up Your Sleeves,” a single from the Jetpacks’ debut album, “These Four Walls,” one fan even waved a real-life lighter instead of the iPhone app.

But that’s kind of the point of this foursome of Scots: they echo all the greats while being wrapped in a nice, new 21 year-old package. A very American concept. Maybe that’s why they’re taking the States by storm.

SETLIST:

A Half-Built House

Keeping Warm

Quiet Little Voices

Moving Clocks Run Slow

Back to the Bare Bones

A Far Cry

It’s Thunder And It’s Lightning

Roll Up Your Sleeves

This Is My House, This Is My Home

Ships With Holes Will Sink

Short Bursts