On In the Pit of the Stomach, We Were Promised Jetpacks deliver songs that feel like a wallop to the gut. Much harder-hitting than their debut, These Four Walls, this album harnesses the power the band displayed before into a wall of sound that’s as rousing as it is anguished, starting with “Circles and Squares” and only letting up for the occasional ballad. Their previous indie pop leanings are mostly gone, though “Medicine”’s driving post-post-punk has a tunefulness that makes it a standout. Instead, We Were Promised Jetpacks explore the limits of their dynamic and emotional ranges, tasks that drummer Darren Lackie helps with ably, whether he’s adding urgency to the relatively subdued “Act on Impulse” or fueling the headlong rush of “Through the Dirt and the Gravel.” And while the album’s slower moments are rare, they also show just how far the band has come since These Four Walls; “Sore Thumb”’s sweeping, expansive beauty calls to mind a more straightforward Mogwai. Their darkest and most complex work yet, In the Pit of the Stomach unleashes We Were Promised Jetpacks' full fury with impressive results.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares