Home > Bargain > Be Your Own Pet – Self-Titled

Be Your Own Pet – Self-Titled

Universal Records, 2006

Be Your Own Pet is another one of those bands that I have heard of but never followed up on.  There’s just so many bands out there that unless you’re a blog-surfin’ mp3 collector you may never actually get around to hearing what some of the buzz is about.  Consider me four years late, but at least I can hear an entire record on the cheap without having to resort to more devious methods, right?  By devious methods I mean, ah, taping stuff off the radio … YIKES!  I won’t tell if you won’t tell.

My first run through of this album had me thinking that these Nashville-based rockers were just making noise for the sake of making it.  However, on further spins I realized that I sold them a little short.  Despite the full volume, in-your-face assault, Be Your Own Pet does scatter some catchy moments amidst their songs.  The quick, swinging chorus of “Bunk Trunk Skunk” is like an oasis amidst Jemina Pearl’s squeals, Jonas Stein’s encompassing power chords and John Eatherly’s crashing drums.  Nathan Vasquez’s bass is in there somewhere but, like I said, many of these songs are like a sonic punch in the gut before moving onto the next song and another body part.  One doesn’t have much time to look around and shake hands.

With most songs sticking around two minutes in length or less, each tune accomplishes an adrenaline rush before ending abruptly.  “Wildcat!” is rare in form because it consists of a quick, yet sparse, instrumental undercurrent without rising to a head.  “Fuuuuuun” squashes that concept with an out-and-out explosion of jolting composition and Pearl high notes.  “Stairway to Heaven” is not a Led Zeppelin cover, but it does showcase Pearl’s occasional Karen O styling.  Pearl doesn’t get all “Maps” on us at any point, however, so if you prefer more attitude over sentimentality then you may enjoy this cacophony of loudness more.

On repeat lessons I found that the quick tunes of “Bog” and “Girls on TV” to be excellent, especially the latter’s hint of early Devo riffs.  It was also at this point halfway through the record that I began to think the group would get a bit monotonous if the rest of the album kept up this way.  You know … even the most energetic bands can fall victim to too much of the same old stuff.  I found that even if Be Your Own Pet doesn’t really slow down much over fourteen tracks, they do get a little lengthy near the end of this record.  At 2:59, “October, First Account” can be considered a long play for these guys.  The song turns out to be one of their slowest songs on their album yet it still has a great uptempo hook to it.  The three minute ‘breather’ is quickly forgotten as the simple kick drum intro to “Love Your Shotgun” wastes little time in bringing the band back to its powerful height of volume.  It’s a fantastic track thanks to the guitar and hurried chorus.

Their band site is no longer functioning as far as I can tell, but they still have a MySpace page if you’d like to listen.

With their brash energy and stir it up motive, I have to say that Be Your Own Pet are a fine addition to the modern rock band collective.  This album is definitely a strong choice to play when looking for a serious burst of energy.  Sadly, the group only cobbled together two records before calling it quits in 2008.  Bands have their own reasons for splitting up, but I doubt Be Your Own Pet crumbled due to being boring.  If you know of another band out there that can pose as chaotic but still manage a few even-tempered catchy tunes like the ones at the end of this album, you let me know.

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