Written by: Andy Stewart
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Words that We Were Promised Jetpacks apparently heeded prior to recording their second album In The Pit of the Stomach, which picks up right where These Four Walls left off. The band from Edinburgh, Scotland comprised of schoolmates Adam Thompson, Michael Palmer, Sean Smith and Darren Lackie deliver a well formed, and extremely solid sounding second effort.
Generally, a sophomore release by a band (let alone a band as young as WWPJP) can fail to capture the essentials that made the debut album a success, not so with In The Pit of the Stomach. The album delivers consistently hard hitting rock that mixes creative arrangements with that same sad sounding lyrics from the first album. There is a noticeable change in Adam’s singing ability throughout the album, where he appears to have more control and confidence in his own voice that eliminates the more uneven sounds that crept up from time to time. For those of you that love his thick Scottish accent, rest easy, it remains intact throughout.
The album opens quite strong with “Circles and Squares”, and roars into “Medicine” (which has a somewhat Arctic Monkey’s feel to it). The album takes a slower pace midway through with songs like “Hard to Remember”, “Picture of Health” and “Sore Thumb” providing less frantic pacing with considerable feeling throughout. Although “Sore Thumb” starts slow it does finish quite loudly and sets the tone for the back half of the album.
Overall the album is an especially strong offering, that does not disappoint; the only complaint is that it dangles the carrot of “what’s next?” in front of the listener. Having found myself disappointed so often with second offerings from bands, it is extremely gratifying to have my expectations met by a group that remains on the initial steps of what could be a long and satisfying career. If they never feel the need to vary from the sound that has served them well on their first two albums, I will have no issue with that.