Someone forgot to mention the done thing to Be Your Own PET. While most kids their age are at college, working at Tesco, or busy getting slapped with an Asbo, BYOP spent their formative years in Nashville on a mean diet of punk, punk and more punk. By the time they had left school they had bagged a record deal, a fair amount of hype and a lot of air miles.
Touting a well beaten brand of punk rock far beyond their teenage years,BYOP is a wonderful combustion of fuzzy guitars and crashing drums gobbed upon by Jemina Pearl’s window shattering howl. Indeed, if an abbreviation for pure energy other than a J for Joule existed, BYOP would be it.
The album rolls to life under Jonas Stein’s nefarious intro. Jemina Pearl, likened to Karen O, assumes a similar dominance as she takes her band’s sound between the snarl of her canines.
“I’m an independent motherfucker, And I’m here to take your money, I’m wicked, rad, and I’m here To steal away your virginity,” she rages on BunkTrunk Skunk, flying the Riot Grrrl flag ferociously.
The band’s lyrics (all share songwriting duties) wisely steer clear of any preachy punk and gravitate towards relationships: “I want a kitty cat my boyfriend wants a dog, We got into a fight I drowned him in the bog, I’m sorry, I’m not sorry!” (Bog) and destructive teenage lifestyles: “We will come to your town, Burn your house down, Turn the sky brown,” on Bicycle Bicycle.
A key word which frequents their interviews is “fun”. This image crops up too on listening to the record. This is a young band not taking themselves too seriously, and you can really picture them as they rock out and enjoy themselves.
Fuuuuuun is a 140 second tussle between Jamin Orrall’s sledgehammer percussion and Stein’s power drill fretwork, while the snotty Girls on TV has touches of The Descendants to it.
The song that has prompted much eyebrow raising (and head scratching) amongst critics is the 59 second barrage Let’s Get Sandy. Apart from being (possibly) the shortest single ever to be released, words simply cannot describe how quickly and destructively BYOP get the song out of their system.
If you’re reading this and the word “noise” seems to be slowly being spelt in invisible ink across your monitor, BYOP is not a simple 33 minute dissection into what a building site sounds like (more like 28 minutes). October, First Account is a joyously catchy bubble gum anthem which takes a similar leaf from grunge them Adventure.
The album ends on a euphoric note with Ouch, which is a bizarre one about zombies (one croaks a last gasp right at the end). After a little more thought however, there is one scary thing about BYOP, and that is that only one of them has turned 18.