In the Pit of the Stomach

The band’s name is misleading. I expected twee indie mush when I saw these four Scots play songs from this album, their second, at a recent gig. What I got was a grand bruising: clear, plaintive vocals propelled by ascending-staccato guitars and hellbent dance-worthy rhythms, as if the Texas band Explosions in the Sky had shown up with New Order’s singer and backfield. There is melody in this density too. "Medicine" is pop rubbed raw with distortion, while the long closer, "Pear Tree," builds with grace through noise to an exultant finish.

Listen to "Medicine":

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From The Archives Issue 1144: November 24, 2011