WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS
“ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES”
July 7, 2009
Hey, everybody, it’s Andy Gesner and the staff from HIP Video Promo, here to spread the word about a strange, beautiful, and arresting clip. Filmmaker and animator Mark Charlton is rapidly becoming one of the most visionary young video directors in Scotland – he’s already wedded his distinctive visual aesthetic to tracks by Glasgow’s finest and most popular groups. His clip for Frightened Rabbit’s “Bright Pink Bookmark” turned a minute-long interlude into a magical, phantasmagoric trip across a warehouse floor; his earlier spot for “Snake” is a cartoon explosion of color and energy. Stranger and more wonderful still was Charlton’s video for The Twilight Sad’s six-minute epic “And She Would Darken The Memory”: a twisting, restless Rorschach test in menacing black and white. Now Mark Charlton turns his attention to Scotland’s Next Big Thing – razor-sharp combo We Were Promised Jetpacks. The partially-animated video he’s shot for the popular quartet is primitive, bold, hallucinatory, and infinitely rewatchable; it’s the best thing Charlton has ever done, and it’s certain to hasten We Were Promised Jetpacks’s arrival on these shores as a major new underground-rock force.
They’ll be following in the footsteps of their friends and neighbors in Frightened Rabbit, who captured the hearts of the American pop cognoscenti in 2008. We Were Promised Jetpacks has already accompanied Frightened Rabbit on a recent U.K. tour – and fans of the now-world-famous Scottish favorite were blown away by the energy and talent of the newcomers. And luckily for American audiences, the band will also be joining FR for an American tour this September along with The Twilight Sad, so all this excitement will pay off soon enough.
But don’t call We Were Promised Jetpacks imitators: they’ve developed a sound and stance all their own. While Frightened Rabbit plays electro-spiked folk-pop, WWPJ favors angular, edgy, occasionally-stormy rock, their sugar-spun melodies drenched in fuzzed-out six-string. These Four Walls, their fiery debut, has drawn merited comparisons to The Futureheads, Mogwai, and even Gang Of Four; singer and songwriter Adam Thompson’s performances (and his brogue) are as wildly endearing and pathologically confessional as Aidan Moffat’s.
“Roll Up Your Sleeves”, the lead American single, charges furiously out of the gate, builds to an incendiary chorus, and then glides into a gorgeous, dreamy instrumental outro. It’s a complex composition with a clever arrangement, but it’s so catchy and immediate that you’ll never notice it. Throughout, the band remains sharp, spirited, and almost unfathomably tight – they play with conviction and confidence, and leave behind an impression of dazzling skill.
But there’s something elusive about We Were Promised Jetpacks, too – something cryptic buried in the distortion – and Mark Charlton taps into the band’s aura of mystery in his clip for “Roll Up Your Sleeves”. Charlton’s technique is ingenious, his execution is flawless, and his palette (electric orange, a dash of blue, cream-colored backdrops, and various tones of grayscale) is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Images of the musicians in action are projected on roughly man-shaped cut-outs; these are sometimes arranged side by side, and sometimes tilted in impossible angles. Behind the band, triangles whirl and dive in time with the music – some, creating an artificial sense of dimensionality, cross in front of the player’s faces. Geometric shapes split and divide and recombine, lines appear and are scribbled out, the mini-screens on which the members of We Were Promised Jetpacks appear are torn in two and are pieced back together. The film is slightly grainy and distressed; it’s as if we’re looking through child’s dusty kaleidoscope discovered in a disused toy drawer.
Once again we’ve been hooked up by the crew at FatCat Records to bring you this exciting band and video! If you need anything relating to We Were Promised Jetpacks, don’t hesitate one moment to be in touch and we’ll be sure to hook you up! If you need more info, call Andy Gesner at 732-613-1779 or e-mail us at [email protected] . You can also visit www.FatCat-USA.com or to find out more about We Were Promised Jetpacks.
|Visit FatCat Records|