When a band's debut album is both impressive and hugely successful, it's not often that their sophomore effort makes it seem almost average in comparison. But In The Pit Of The Stomach We Were Promised Jetpacks grand, accomplished follow-up to 2009s These Four Walls is precisely this rare exception.
We Were Promised Jetpacks spent 2009 and 2010 touring tirelessly on their debut, including a run with Frightened Rabbit and shows supporting Passion Pit and Tokyo Police Club; the bands second set of U.S. appearances, their first headlining tour, sold out across the board; and they closed out 2010 supporting pop-punk legends Jimmy Eat World on a huge sold-out theater tour.
Armed with the confidence of all that touring, a batch of new, road-tested songs, and a muscular vision for a new record, the band decamped to Sigur Rss studio retreat in the frozen wilds of Iceland.
Explains singer Adam Thompson: We recorded the debut album in 8 days with one short tour under our belts - this time around we spent a full three weeks in the studio recording with [live sound engineer] Andrew Bush and made an album that both captured the sound of our live show and that is strong start to finish. Peter Katis (Frightened Rabbit , The National) was also on hand for additional mixing and production.
The result, In The Pit Of The Stomach, is a huge leap forward from their debut full of prickly ambition and grand-scale vision, sure, but with no shortage of the hooks and personal engagement that have earned their debut and, indeed, their powerful, wrenching live shows such a wide and devoted following.
From the thundering first attack of lead-off track Circles & Squares, to the albums first single, the dark, driving anthem Medicine, to slow-burning, triumphant Sore Thumb and the whip-smart, angular Human Error In The Pit Of The Stomach is a fiery, atmospheric listen.
With their sophomore LP, We Were Promised Jetpacks have transcended even the very high expectations created by their beloved debut and subsequent tireless, much-buzzed touring; In The Pit Of The Stomach is, quite simply, a brilliant achievement from this young, exceptional group.