Attended by controlled and even sort of jittery guitar lines, Adam Thompson’s arena-ready voice soars on “Peace Sign,” the latest single to be released off We Were Promised Jetpacks‘ forthcoming live album, E Ray: Live In Philadelphia. This album, which was recorded while the band was on tour in 2012, marks WWPJ’s first new release since 2011’s In The Pit Of The Stomach. Though a studio album is, apparently, in the works, the band’s in-person energy is undeniably crucial to their aesthetic–“Peace Sign” displays no asymmetry or lack of polish for being recorded live–and E Ray will seek to recreate the experience of being in the same room with these four Scottish rockers.
“Peace Sign” is as angular and anxiety-laden as any of the band’s previous releases, laying guitar and vocals over a cold, ambient layer of white noise. As the track progresses, the sound opens up into something that’s both more complex and more vulnerable. Thompson’s voice operates almost parallel to the music, meeting the guitar lines at the hinges of their rhythms, and in the meantime, free-falling in a melody that’s all the powerful for how impromptu it feels.
We Were Promised Jetpacks’ music has suffered in the past under the weight of its own moodiness, and In The Pit Of The Stomach seemed to be running in place at times, over thinking its themes and splitting itself between too many musical impulses. A live recording seems to solve a lot of those problems for the band, who may be more inclined towards the “first thought, best thought” school, because “Peace Sign” maintains cohesiveness without losing any of the lyrics’ fretful intimacy.
Listen to “Peace Sign” below: