Be Your Own Pet are finally here! This group of Nashville teenagers caught our attention with the release of their insanely good single "Damn Damn Leash" nearly two years ago. After snagging worldwide acclaim for their youthful rock greatness, BYOP signed with Thurston Moore's label Ecstatic Peace, who has just released their self-titled debut LP. These three guys and one spunky lady are not creating anything new by any means, but their blazing rock is done very, very well.
The comparisons to Yeah Yeah Yeahs were inevitable, as they create guitar-heavy, catchy tunes led by frontwoman Jemina Pearl's powerful (and very Karen O-ish) vocals. What separates BYOP from the YYYs is that these teenagers don't fart around with musical experimentation or any real development of musical textures. They just want to push the pedal to the metal, rarely slowing things down even for a moment to catch their breath, which they should since all four band members have asthma.
Their album contains fifteen songs, barely clocking in at a little over thirty minutes. The opening seconds of "Thresher's Flail" is the perfect way to kick off this energetic album. Mountains of guitar thrashing builds up, showing that these kids have the musical chops to back up all the praise they have received thus far. What I love about this band is their ability to walk that fine line of rock and pop, never compromising their sound while still throwing down some catchy-as-hell licks. "Bicycle, Bicycle" should be the single of the summer, jam packed with fat guitar riffs that will surely inspire kids to fuck shit up while cruising on their BMX bikes.
Although many props should go out to Nathan Vasquez (bass), Jamin Orrall (drums) and Jonas Stein (guitar), it is hard to not focus on Jermina Pearl's vocals. She is a natural, bubbling over with confidence as she sings about being unapologetic for killing her boyfriend ("Bog") or for being an "independent motherfucker" while taking away everybody's virginity ("Bunk Trunk Skunk"). Pearl is the perfect blend of old-school PJ Harvey and Karen O, which makes for one hell of a powerful vocalist.
For a bunch of young kids making fairly simple garage rock, Be Your Own Pet have given us a damn fun album. They don't take themselves too seriously, which results in an un-jaded collection of songs put together by four talented musicians that are bursting with potential. I've got a hunch we will be hearing plenty more from BYOP in the next several years.