Album Review: We Were Promised Jetpacks – In the Pit of the Stomach

By on Monday, 3rd October 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

We Were Promised Jetpacks managed to excite me from the off and that’s just because I think their name is super cool. ‘In the Pit of the Stomach’, the follow-up to 2009’s ‘These Four Walls’, delivers expansive and intelligent punk rock throughout and is the kind of album that sounds immediate. It sounds like it needs to be played all the way through to be fully appreciated. WWPJ have a unique sound coined from their debut: quick deliberate beats, going along to a frantic guitar.

The opening track ‘Circles and Squares’ epitomizes the record’s immediacy. It clangs into life with a visceral, clattering drum pounding before being injected with some rather clever guitars. It’s a definite marker for the album’s rocky qualities and clearly indicates the bullishness of the band from the start. They made this record to sound how they wanted and would not be forced to conform to it becoming ‘These Four Walls’, Pt. ’. Single ‘Act on Impulse’ (Martin’s review here) starts a lot calmer than ‘Circles and Square’, but this only adds to the grandeur of the track when it kicks in. The drums on the track are ominous and make it seem as if a great beast is marching towards you and just when you think the intro will never stop, then it slows and the guitar starts again. The lyrics come in and you know you have come along to a true beast of a track.

WWPJ’s second effort is one that is difficult to pin down, as at times they can be brash ballsy and completely out there, and at other times on the record, they just retreat into their shell and the album finds itself stunted by this. Adam Thompson can belt out a chorus for sure and on indie number ‘Sore Thumb’ he is at his evocative best, with ‘Act On Impulse being a close second. The songs are smart, but it just feels that while they seem to be honing their style as time goes on, they haven’t really settled anywhere they are happy with. With all the chopping and changing, this means this record won’t reach the heights this band deserve. But it’s an admirable effort.

7/10

‘In the Pit of the Stomach’, the second album from We Were Promised Jetpacks, is available today from Fat Cat Records.

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