Released: 3rd October 2011
Making a rousing return with their second album In The Pit of the Stomach Edinburgh-born, Glasgow-based band We Were Promised Jetpacks pick up where they left off with 2009’s debut These Four Walls. Delivering a more kinetic, rough-and-ready sound with In The Pit of the Stomach, WWPJ have clearly beefed up their sound with more thunderous drums and jagged guitars.
The opener ‘Circles and Squares’ lays out this newfound sense of urgency and energy. Fast and frenetic mixtures of drums and dual guitars form the basis of much of the material on the band’s sophomore effort and whilst some of the stirring, gentler tracks from These Four Walls are amongst my favourites, this bold, brash approach works well too.
The album’s two singles thus far, ‘Medicine’ and ‘Act on Impulse’ are indicative of this shift, the latter demonstrating the band’s wonderfully patient way of constructing the atmosphere of their songs. Much like the (admittedly epic) opening to ‘Keeping Warm’ from their debut, ‘Act on Impulse’ carefully layers the elements as it builds to the final crescendo. ‘Medicine’ on the other hand jumps straight in with both feet and never looks back, as the chorus rattles out at a rate of knots between the various verses.
By the middle of the album it’s obvious that the band have crafted several songs that will go down a storm at their shows. The anthemic style of tracks like ‘Hard to Remember’ and ‘Medicine’ are only second to the thoroughbred indie rock belters ‘Picture of Health’ and ‘Sore Thumb’ both of which show the band haven’t turned the dial completely to 11.
The latter tracks of the album however do feel that little OTT at times, with ‘Human Error’ erring too heavily on the side of thrash. The closer ‘Pear Tree’ returns to that WWPJ motif of steadily building toward a rapturous farewell which signs off this second long-player in style.
In The Pit of the Stomach is a well-rounded record with only a few overly-excitable hiccups along the way. ‘Sore Thumb’ is as toe-tappingly catchy as anything they’ve done before and it’s thoroughly enjoyable to listen to yet another sing-with-your-accent Scottish rock outfit, particularly one with as much passion and charisma as We Were Promised Jetpacks.