We Were Promised Jetpacks, In the Pit of the Stomach
The second full-length album from Scottish band We Were Promised Jetpacks opens with a furious guitar rumble and then comes out sounding like the bands Rise Against and Hot Water Music had a baby — a sound which remains throughout most of the album.
I really feel like I need to say something about this band name and how much I like it. I mean, it is the 21st century, right? It has been for some time, I’m told. So where are all the flying cars? Where is the food in pill form? Where are all of the things that The Jetsons told us would happen in the future? Someone out there in the world of technology should have been using that as the guide to what our collective future would hold as a society when we made it this far. Sure, it could’ve been predictable and therefore not as big of a deal, but wouldn’t the apathy have been better than the bitter disappointment of knowing that the mind of a cartoon maker is superior to that of someone who engineers aircraft?
Anyway, I digress. You don’t hear a lot of bands like We Were Promised Jetpacks anymore, which is because either a) they are not from the U.S. or b) established bands like Alkaline Trio and the previously-mentioned Hot Water Music have a hard enough time staying alive in this genre, let alone with new bands adding to it.
In the Pit of the Stomach goes from fast to faster as you listen to it, but rarely does it slow down to any degree that leaves you wishing it would stop. Sure, “Sore Thumb” seems to drag on at times, like the record is skipping or stuck in some sort of weird loop, but for the most part, this is a very enjoyable collection of songs that makes me wish music was still made this good.
“Medicine” is when you can really begin to hear the accents, and I swear I’m still waiting for it to kick in to that start-and-stop guitar riff from Franz Ferdinand’s “Take Me Out.” Parts Bayside, parts Casket Lottery, as well, We Were Promised Jetpacks seems to make a pretty good go of forging a unique sound in a time when it seems like such a hard thing to do. (Yet, some odd years ago, this band would’ve been a dime a dozen.)
Final song “Pear Tree” has that kind of quiet background singing going on at one point — you know, with very little instruments playing — and I’ve always found that to be a lot of fun, and something that a lot of bands don’t do (or if they do, they overdo it). After about five-and-a-half minutes (with a minute left to go in the song, and for the album on a whole), a hailstorm of guitar chords and thunder just completely engrosses everything. It’s one of the better ways I’ve heard recently to end an album.