Release Date: Mar 18, 2008
Record label: Ecstatic Peace
Be Your Own Pet’s Get Awkward is as notable for what’s not on it as it is for the twelve tracks of breathless punk that Jemina Pearl and the boys have ushered into the world. In its wisdom, parent label Universal has decided that three tracks from the band (“Blow Yr Mind,” “Black Hole,” and “Becky”) are too violent for public consumption, sending fans scurrying to the Internet to find out what they’re missing. But no matter, because the tracks that Universal has okayed are the kind of ballsy primal rock that conjures up images of a glorious multicolor three-way between Bikini Kill, the Ramones, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
It only took Be Your Own Pet a year and a half to follow up their debut album with Get Awkward, but during that time the band grew from teenagers to adults, and it shows in their music. Get Awkward is still plenty mischievous, but the mischief is more honed, with a wicked mean streak to boot. Instead of singing about bicycles, vacations, and adventures, Jemina Pearl and crew tackle subjects like boredom and paranoia on "Creepy Crawl" and self-loathing on "The Beast Within," but they sound pretty excited to be so jaded.
Review Summary: re-submitHalf the people I’ve heard from on Be Your Own Pet’s sophomore album were impressed with the band’s progression, with the restraint they’ve gained, the producer they’ve chosen and the lyrics they’ve written. The other half were far from it, and for almost the exact same reasons.But Get Awkward really isn’t the kind of a record that’s worth getting riled up about, nor is Be Your Own Pet the kind of band. Four ridiculously energetic Nashville youths, BYOP carved out a niche as a punk band without ‘pretensions’, but lacking the really keen songwriting and the originality of certain peers.
A few years ago, teen punkers Be Your Own Pet were visited by that hand of God, British buzz. Their home recordings got played on the BBC, word spread, and they've been a regular presence on the U.K. Indie chart ever since. That pattern has been playing out poorly for American bands; inspired but hyped-to-death opening shots have lead to humdrum follow-ups.
Get Awkward opens fast and hooky, a Ramones-style rah-rah-rah. Then, Be Your Own Pet gets growing pains. The Nashville quartet was barely out of high school for its 2006 self-titled Ecstatic Peace! debut, racing at hyperpunk speed through tales of bicycling and partying. On Get Awkward, they seem vexed by adulthood.