We Were Promised Jetpacks: In The Pit of the Stomach

I seem to be randomly choosing rock bands from Europe to review lately. Tonight’s band is apparently no exception as they hail from Edinburgh, Scotland. Before reading a recommendation, I had never heard of this band. I read that they were like Gaslight Anthem and Arctic Monkeys, but that they didn’t really sound like either. The mention of those two bands was enough to interest me, so I figured why not take a go. We’re going to listen to In The Pit of the Stomach from We Were Promised Jetpacks.

I think whoever wrote that recommendation was exactly right – this band has echoes of bands like Arctic Monkeys, but they don’t really sound like it. They have echoes of a lot of bands, but there is no real one band that I could pinpoint to give you a clue as to what this group sounds like. I like to give people at least a general ball park guess of what a band sounds like – if you like Band A, and Band B, you’ll like This Band kinda thing – but I really can’t here.

What I can do is describe the sound. It’s a slow, mellow rock, with instrumentation that seems to almost drown out or over power the vocals. We Were Promised Jetpacks is a four piece band consisting of vocals, guitar, bass, and drums, yet the vocals are the least showcased instrument of them all – or at least that’s my first impression. Circles and Squares and Medicine come in and are a slow roller coaster ride through. It’s enjoyable, but not nearly as memorable.

The third track comes in with echoes of White Stripes. Through the Dirt and the Gravel is a more promising track. There are the same vocals-being-out-shined, but it works in this track. I almost feel as though the vocals are trapped inside a glass jar as the guitars and drums play on.

Act on Impulse is one of the better tracks on the album. It almost feels as though I’m being taken on a journey through a musical outer space – almost reminiscent of Band of Horses here.

While the guitars and drums are winning the battle in these songs, its not to say they’re not sounding great in their own respects. The guitar playing is so nicely blended that I can just sit back and listen instead of focusing so much on the rhythms. Boy in the Backseat is one of those songs where you lose yourself in the music.

The album wraps up with Pear Tree – a song that has a darker feeling to it than the majority of the album. The bass guitar really comes through on this track in an interesting way.

While it’s not really my cup of tea (or coffee), I can respect what this band does musically. Is it something I’m going to start listening to regularly? Probably not. Would I recommend it to someone for a change of pace? Sure thing.


Key Tracks:
Act on Impulse (track 4)
Pear Tree (track 10)
Boy in the Backseat (track 8)

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