"Drug runs and beer busts, it's all I know/ I don't wanna grow up and have to let go," barked Jemina Pearl on Be Your Own Pet's second and final LP, Get Awkward. "I feel the pressure to change my ways/ All I see are more dark days." By definition, BYOP was a fleeting endeavor-- a band of fuck-off teens destined to flame out rather than linger on. They wrote songs about food fights, robbing banks, and, like, adventuring; when Pearl declared, "We ride bikes, cars are for idiots," narrow side lanes turned into unfuckwithable alleys of cool.
The title of Jemina Pearl's first post-Be Your Own Pet album, Break It Up, could apply to a fight or a band -- and in Pearl's case, it's a little of both. Be Your Own Pet's music and attitude (especially on-stage) were so riotous that it was clear they wouldn't last long. The band folded not too long after the release of its second album, Get Awkward, which had one of its best songs, "Becky," cut from the official release because its nasty update of girl group pop was deemed too violent by the record label.
Faced with the prospect of going solo after her excellent (and underrated) band Be Your Own Pet broke up, Jemina Pearl is left with an essential question of the long-term punk career: Is it possible to still have the same intensity a few years into your career as you did when you were puerile ass-kicker? For Pearl, the answer is simple: Kind of. First things first: Break It Up, Pearl's first album after the break-up of Be Your Own Pet, sounds a hell of a lot like a Be Your Own Pet record. A lot of that has to do with Pearl, whose banshee act did as much to make Be Your Own Pet’s songs connect with listeners as did the lyrical guitar leads of Jonas Stein or the post-Animal drumming of John Eatherly (who joins Pearl on guitar here).
GOSSIP“Music for Men”(Columbia) A short list of tweaks turns Gossip into a pop band on its album “Music for Men.” Concentrate a little more on melody. Round off some guitar distortion. Follow through on the dance beats of the 2006 studio album “Standing in the Way of Control.” And add instruments and backup vocals here and there to the band’s bare-bones sound: Hannah Blilie on drums, Brace Paine on guitar or bass and Beth Ditto on vocals.