I mean, whhat you say is valuable and all.
That album immediately established the band as a leading light in the shoegaze-influenced "Scottish school" of the revival Twilight Sad, Glasvegas, etc. Unfortunately, In the Pit of the Stomach manages to emphasize all of the least interesting aspects of its predecessor and consistently struggles to rise above mediocrity. The basic approach established on These Four Walls has been maintained on this release: The primary problem with In the Pit of the Stomach is that the band has deemphasized discernable guitar lines or hooks of any sort… in favor of an even thicker wall of reverb.
I realize that those shoegaze-inspired walls of sound were a key part of what the band is going for, but the vast majority of these tracks are nigh impenetrable. The lack of hooks also means that pretty much everything here sounds more-or-less interchangeable. Lack of variety has always been one of my biggest stumbling blocks with shoegaze-leaning material, and In the Pit of the Stomach is worse than most in that regard.
It's almost as if the band realized that they were seriously short on songwriting ideas and attempted to mask those deficiencies with a ton of noise. Extremely frustrating, and something that repeatedly has me repeatedly turning up the volume on my headphones in a hopeless search for anything buried behind all of that noise.
The end result is a record that I have a hard time recommending to an average fan of the post-punk revival. Devoted followers of the revival's Scottish wing may have better luck here than myself, but I have a hard time understanding how even the starriest eyed of fans would place this in the same league as These Four Walls. My confusion toward In the Pit of the Stomach is heightened by the fact that the band's choice of singles runs directly counter to the musical direction I would have preferred.
Most notably, the band decided to headline the release with "Medicine", which not only features the record's most overwhelming wall of reverb but is completely lacking in anything remotely resembling a hook.
Message received- you want to be taken "seriously" as an "artistic" band that doesn't rely on melodicism to succeed. Similar tendencies sink the majority of the album's first half, so much so that I nearly gave up on the record as a boorish waste the time the first time I attempted to listen through it in its entirety.
Luckily, things do pick up over the album's second half. The record's second single, "Human Error", also delivers a killer chorus, even if I find that song to be the least interesting selection on the second half. All things considered, there's just enough of interest over the album's last five tracks that I've moderately enjoyed acquainting myself with the record.
That doesn't mean that I'm likely to revisit the album anytime in the foreseeable future, especially when These Four Walls has so much more to offer.
A thoroughly mediocre 2. Even the amazing Peter Katis couldn't give these guys an identity. The album is monotonously loud and noisily monotonous as if the band is already out of creative ideas and they are just biding time trying to deafen and dumb us down with unmotivated and unimaginative outbursts of loudness. Published Votes are used to help determine the most interesting content on RYM.
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