On their sophomore album, the only significant tweak Edinburgh's We Were Promised Jetpacks have made is more volume and size. And that's perfect, because it's the single gesture that can heighten each and every intrinsic virtue of their particular formula. Blending post-punk and an aggressive brand of jangle in a similar tenor as the Twilight Sad, We Were Promised Jetpacks' brand of indie rock is an experience crafted to dizzy the head and burst the chest. The cliff-diving guitars here are direct descendants of the roaring, jet-engine jangles of the Wedding Present. Driving them up and out is a sense of headlong Walkmen-esque urgency and high Scottish drama courtesy of singer Adam Thompson's doomed croon. And together the whole thing soars, climbs and dive-bombs like an epic, anguished swan.
Although the emotion that fuels In the Pit of the Stomach is charged and intemperate, the quality of the songwriting is measured and consistent. The rocks and tides of standout tracks like “Circles and Squares” and “Boy in the Backseat” crash and churn with violent romance. Other highlights like “Medicine,” on the other hand, move on edge and ever- forward toward sky-ripping catharsis. Meanwhile, the stately “Picture of Health” is a tensely simmering jaunt that builds toward its climax like the National's stirring Alligator-era work.
Because of profile and seniority, We Were Promised Jetpacks got the lowest billing when they toured with countrymen and contemporaries Frightened Rabbit and the Twilight Sad back in 2009. But, still, they managed to handily best them all with pure, raw horsepower. This time they're the marquee headliner, and they've come armed with a grandly crestfallen record that's a sterling capture of their tornado of heart and sound.
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