In The Pit Of The Stomach – We Were Promised Jetpacks
Signed to FatCat Records and closely associated with Frightened Rabbit and The Twilight Sad, We Were Promised Jetpacks are right in the heart of the Scottish Indie scene. Just over two years since the release of their debut LP, These Four Walls the band returns with In The Pit of The Stomach which shows what can be done with the right production team and a little bit of time. This album does what most second albums fail to do, display musical maturity and developing the sound without losing the energy and character of the band we met in the first album.
In The Pit of The Stomach is filled with songs that you’ll expect groups of lads to chant from the windows of their flat after a drunken night out including the album opener “Circles and Squares,” a track which unfortunately sounds a bit like a rip off of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You.’ In this album, We Were Promised Jetpacks really make use of layering of vocals in four part harmony, guitars and cymbals to enhance the music and although this creates an undeniably rich atmosphere, this is something that may not be able to be created in live performances, which is quite disappointing.
Tracks which stand out include ‘Through The Dirt and The Gravel,’ ‘Pear Tree,’ ‘Medicine’ and ‘Act On Impulse,’ however although this is a fantastic album, there isn’t too much variety which a band like this need as there seems to be a dependency on sombre lyrics and noisy instrumentals. Despite that, this is the best offering from the Edinburgh quartet and it shows that they seem to have found their style but have not settled just yet. Roll on the next album to see where these guys are headed.
Minor Sounds - The Humming
“The Humming” by Minor Sounds
This song totally knocked me out!
“Check out Minor Sounds on the FatCat Demoplayer. ’The Humming’ is the work of Croatian singer/songwriter Mirna Stanich and Mass Roman - based in Brighton and sometimes compared to Cocteau Twins and Talk Talk of the late 80s. Minor Sounds is currently in the process of completing their first album, ‘Super Komputer’, recorded with producer Martin Zietek in a couple of Brighton living rooms and Martin’s home studio in Warsaw.
“The tracks were originally written and arranged mostly as folk songs, but the music has throughout the recording stages changed into a sound that crosses many genres. Drawing influences from American folk artists, electronic music, bluesy guitars and pop, the songs developed into a new sound. However, within the live set we include more electronics; echo coloured guitars and vocals float around vintage keyboard melodies and beats”. (Minor Sounds).”
If you’d like to explore Minor Sounds, you can visit their Soundcloud www.soundcloud.com/minorsounds
We are eschewing our usual tactics twice over for today’s article. Firstly, we are not featuring an emerging artist. Technically, the material here does represent the brand new beginnings of a band that fully deserves a larger platform, in the usual Squealer sense, but of course the band’s back story has told us already that they have ticked this - and much more - off their checklist already.
Secondly, we have already featured múm. Founding member Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason was kind enough to put together a great mixtape of his current listening material for us earlier in the year, and we were honoured and excited to run the mix as our second “guest contributor” feature.
So, rule-breaking aside, we are pleased to step back into a firm favourite’s history and revisit the material that set them on their course. Berlin’s wonderful Morr Music label will shortly release Early Birds, a collection of múm material that dates back to their earliest demo recordings in 1998. Preceding stunning debut full-length Tomorrow Was Dramatic, Today Was OK and breakthrough LP Finally We Are No-One, the material here is certainly simpler and at times fascinatingly at odds with where the band settled, but honest, delivered with real belief and a quality that belies their then teenage years.
A rare window into the starting places of artists that helped define their genre, and a superb collection in itself. Don’t miss this.