When We Were Promised Jetpacks emerged two years ago with These Four Walls (QRO review), the Edinburgh outfit seemed like able clones of FatCat Records label & tour mates like Frightened Rabbit (QRO live review) & The Twilight Sad (QRO live review) – great bands, and their Scottish tragedy was not something overplayed or unwelcome, but the Jetpacks failed to add anything new to the sound. But with sophomore release In the Pit of the Stomach, the group presses further than ever before.
Starting with the crashing procession of opener "Circles and Squares", WWPJ eschew the stripped sounds of Rabbit or the near-post-rock wash of Twilight for more dynamic, driving proceedings, as the following "Medicine" veers right into tragic conflict, matching nicely with the explosive calls "Boy In the Backseat" and "Human Error" near the end of the record. With less of a sonic legacy than their contemporaries, the group is freer to rock, but never gives in to either simple rock basics or over-emotionalism. Jetpacks do have a tendency to make their pieces too long, with three on Stomach clocking in at over five minutes, but even the near-instrumental "Sore Thumb" still works.
It’s always hard to criticize a band for sounding a lot like another, more established band, if that other band is really good and not someone that you’re sick of. But it’s still great when the fine imitator emerges to shine on their own, like We Were Promised Jetpacks on the pressing In the Pit of the Stomach.
MP3 Stream: "Human Error"