We Were Promised Jetpacks

In The Pit Of The Stomach

Written by: TL on 22/10/2011 15:41:26

Since their brilliant 2009 debut album "These Four Walls", the Scottish quartet who have maybe the best bandname in the history of bandnames - We Were Promised Jetpacks - have been getting things going somewhat. Okay that's an understatement. They went from nobodies whose only accomplishment of note was supporting Frightened Rabbit, to suddenly touring in America with Jimmy Eat World, and having songs from their album featured in movies and TV shows. "These Four Walls" effectively was an eye-opener. A wonderful album that rewarded anyone who could be bothered to check WWJP with the realisation that the band was more than just a quirky name.

Hence fans have been anxiously waiting to see what would come of the band's attempt at the traditionally challenging sophomore album - the product of which became "In The Pit Of The Stomach", which was released just a few weeks ago. An album the immediately seems to indicate that WWPJ have not been interested in changing what they do too much, rather trying to just scale their previous elements up a little. Effectively, they still sound like what would happen if you took fellow Scottish indie-pieces Frightened Rabbit or The Twilight Sad and pumped them full of Red Bull. The sound of this band simply does not sit still. On "In The Pit Of The Stomach" as well as on "These Four Walls", guitars, drums and bass bubble, buzz and build constantly, sounding at every turn like the musicians wielding them can't wait to get to the part of the song directly ahead of them, giving you the feeling of music that grows bigger, bolder, wilder and louder with each part. This obviously makes for an excessively energetic listen, of the kind that makes you want to jump and dance and shake and shout lyrics - as exemplified perfectly by songs like "Circles And Squares" and "Picture Of Health", both of which build into massively sweeping climaxes towards their ends.

On the flipside however, WWPJ seem to have been so focused on their sounds and compositions, that if you compare "In The Pit Of The Stomach" directly to "These Four Walls", there are noticeably fewer catchy hooks, and the ones that are there are not of the same strength. Don't get me wrong, there are still moments that are definitely worthy of memory, especially in "Human Error", "Hard To Remember" (which is anything but), "Act On Impulse" and "Medicine", and coupled with the already brilliant soundscape, there's going to be more than enough incentive for you to give this record quite a few spins. I just think that eventually, "These Four Walls" is more likely to be the album you put on your stereo or mp3 player when you want to return to the band in the future, simply because the vocals - which are so very 'regular Scottish dude' and hence so very easy to relate to - combined better with the lyrics to crawl under your skin on that record. "In The Pit On The Stomach", on its part, rocks louder and wilder however, and its tracks will hence provide overpowering reinforcements to the band's already captivating live set. The eventual verdict then, is that WWPJ are staying pretty consistent in making great music, but that the new stuff will likely reach full potential only in the live environment, while the old stuff works a little better coming from your music player of choice.

Download: Human Error, Act On Impulse, Hard To Remember, Medicine
For The Fans Of: Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad, The Joy Formidable
Listen: facebook.com/wewerepromisedjetpacks

Release Date 04.10.2011
Fat Cat Records

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