We Were Promised Jetpacks – In the Pit of the Stomach
Record Label: Fat Cat Records
Release Date: October 4, 2011
As far as We Were Promised Jetpacks are concerned, music isn’t just catharsis but medicine. It’s a dose of guitar swells and a cocktail of howling lyrics. And on In the Pit of the Stomach the treatment is the same if not amped to the maximum level, as if the listener is on their last leg and this is some sort of experimental therapy. It will either kill us or completely fix us. And maybe the best music is black and white like that – it can become a little tiring to discuss music as if everything is debatable. Sometimes it all just is how it is, and sometimes we should take it, leave it, or insist on creating a tumblr about it.
But yes, if you enjoyed tracks like “It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning” or “Quiet Little Voices,” this album will be something you can easily sink into. Although there are songs many shades darker than on These Four Walls, vocalist Adam Thomson has the same slightly-accented yelps and, in some cases, much improved lyricism. If this band’s ever been able to do one thing really well, it’s hide their cards until the last possible second. And for a rock band (who unabashedly loves Biffy Clyro) to have songs over six minutes, that hidden portion better be damn worth it. And for the most part, it is. Closer “Pear Tree” rocks us through and through when we least expect, and standout “Boy in the Backseat” is one of those moments where you can literally hear a band figure it out.
And apologies for going back to the terrible medicine metaphor, but In the Pit of the Stomach is truly a feel-better record - in whatever way that resonates with you. If you’re the type who likes to thrash around until mentally and physically exhausted, there’s stuff for you (“Circles and Squares”). But if you need a little moodiness to offset your own, there’s obviously plenty to dive into (“Hard to Remember” and “Act on Impulse”). As recognizable and precise as WWPJ’s sound is, this record finds it fairly easy to intrigue us throughout. But perhaps the most amazing thing it does, is not try to be anything other than natural.
As wonderful as it is to be exactly what you are, it is also difficult. And WWPJ are more than comfortable in their collective Scottish skins. This jangly rock music reliant on raucous build-ups is who they are and who they are going to be. Like I said (terribly) earlier, nobody cares if you don’t agree. It is rare in this life to have the seemingly simple freedom of being ourselves. And it is even more rare to broadcast that feeling to thousands of people. Most of us are forced to exist in a world where the only time our true self comes out is over way too many drinks or at the very last moment (when it’s too late anyway). So when Thomson sings, “I’ve torn through the pages / Of the years I have wasted” on “Medicine,” it’s more positive than it sounds. He’s clearly making a commitment to change - to make his time worth having. If all we can ever change is what we do and what we are, shouldn’t we take the time to try? Or shouldn’t we just be okay with how it is and how we are? Because once we nail that down, the rest will fall into place. It has to.
"Most of us are forced to exist in a world where the only time our true self comes out is over way too many drinks or at the very last moment (when it’s too late anyway). So when Thomson sings, “I’ve torn through the pages / Of the years I have wasted” on “Medicine,” it’s more positive than it sounds. He’s clearly making a commitment to change - to make his time worth having. If all we can ever change is what we do and what we are, shouldn’t we take the time to try?"
This is an amazing few sentences. Fantastic write up! I'm very, very impressed, and I love this album. WWPJ' moodiness is perfect when you need it.