When you call your latest record In the Pit of the Stomach, that should be where you feel it. The Scottish rock band We Were Promised Jetpacks delivers the kind of a aggressive, raw rock anthems that deliver -- you feel it in your gut. It's a sound cultivated best by months and months on the road. It's something that hardens you, allows you to really hone in on your own sound, and in the case of We Were Promised Jetpacks, that sound packs more grit than ever before.
The band seems to bridge the divide between post-punk and indie rock well, garnering comparisons to their musical peers in Frightened Rabbit. Although that's a fair comparison, they do share a sense of angst energy -- with crashing cymbals and a driving rhythmic section -- it all feels epic, like it was music meant for a stadium. I'm not sure what it is about these Scottish bands ... their warm blood, their ability to stay up all night, scream through a set and keep the crowd's energy high throughout.
Although the record is lyrically dark, the instrumentation makes it feel more redemptive than anything. The songs turned out to be fitting metaphors for real-life trauma: Guitarist Michael Palmer was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkins lymphoma, which put everything on hold last year. After enduring chemotherapy, Palmer was antsy to get back -- and with a new perspective on life and music. The experiences left an indelible mark on their sound; they're more driven and energetic than ever.
Recently the band released a new video for their song "Human Error," which coincides with the upcoming release of an AA single that includes "Human Error" and "Ink Dries Slowly." The video features young people roaming the streets and having fun, and following the breakdown, it appears that it's all caught up with them. Thankfully for this band, they know how to have fun without taking it too far. Again, that might just be a Scottish thing. Catch them at the Casbah with Royal Bangs and Bear Hands on Wednesday.