Scottish rockers We Were Promised Jetpacks waste no time in launching head-on into their second LP, In the Pit of the Stomach. Opener “Circles And Squares” brings forward rolling drums and shows just what the band can do with the highs and lows in their music. However the second track and single, “Medicine”, doesn’t quite seem to pick up enough, and for all the frenetic drumming, it almost feels a little lacklustre - an unfortunately recurring feeling, at least throughout earlier tracks.
“Act on Impulse” is where the album begins to pick up, with the band making better use of their ability to build tension. The crescendo at the start and the soaring chorus make this track much more compelling, and it’s where In the Pit... really begins to show its true colours.
Things only improve with “Sore Thumb”, which slows the album down to a reflective wander. Despite it’s explosive mid-section, it feels like the calm and contrast that the album needs. It then leads into the final few tracks, which prove to be much stronger. “Human Error” and "Pear Tree" both feel like definite standouts, especially the latter, which closes the album beautifully.
Adam Thompson’s vocals have a genuine charm about them, but they aren’t enough to carry the songs alone. And therein lies the problem, because it's not like WWPJ don't pick up the pace. It isn't like these songs aren't exhilarating, it isn't like they don't grab your attention. The problem is that usually when they do, they feel far too clustered and unrefined, and as a result they fail to stick with you. WWPJ really shine in the moments where things are still clear and discernible: still focused.
Thundering drums and tremolo guitar melodies haunt this record. Tension builds and wanes, and there's a strong display of both personality and diversity here. So in a sense, this is an exciting album. Ultimately, there are gems hidden away, but some songs are lost in the lack of clarity.
I feel with time We Are Promised Jetpacks will hit their stride, but overall In the Pit of the Stomach leaves something more to be desired.
Review Score: 6/10