Be Your Own Pet
Get Awkward



by The Katz brothers USER (183 Reviews)
May 21st, 2008 | 14 replies

Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: re-submit

Half 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. Regardless, they issued their self-titled Thurston Moore-released debut to praise nearly two years ago, and have appeared to age a considerable amount since. Still, to call Get Awkward ‘mature’ would be a vast overstatement. Jemina Pearl stills shouts and raves, and the band is every bit as brash, bratty and fun as before. However, the styles are more diverse, the playing considerably less sloppy and, perhaps the most noticeable difference, the lyrics have backbone. Where the self-titled was full of rants and hurried narratives, tracks like ‘Becky’ allow Jemina to really present songs as stories. Becky is about teenage homicide, and its gang-sung refrains of “We don’t like Becky anymore” and “Doesn't matter anyway, cuz I've got a brand new friend, okay/Me and her, we'll kick your ass,/we'll wait with knives after class!” are probably the album’s shining moments. The song operates in a really kitschy fashion, but with the addition of the guys’ background howls and their usual slapdash instrumentation, it’s doubtful any old fans will go running to the hills.

Or, at least you wouldn’t think so. The reality is Get Awkward is a far more sterile release than the self-titled. The production is cleaner, the songs far more rehearsed and deliberately catchy, and the most aggravating part is Be Your Own Pet still try to sound like they don’t care. However, it might be forgivable if Get Awkward had the songs to back up the attitude. And it just doesn’t quite make the cut.

It’s not really bad though. Tracks like Twisted Nerve and leak-exempt album opener Super Soaked show BYOP as a force to reckoned with, the same ravenous garage/punk band some people really dug. Jonas Stein’s guitar is gritty and full of tension, the bass playing is harrowing at worst, and the drums, an element of the bands sound that some have deemed “their secret weapon” remain terribly precise. But a good portion of Get Awkward finds a way to retain these fine traits, but still manages to make songs that seem forced, trite or just uncomfortable to listen to. Get Awkward, as an album, is a step up, and it certainly has highs and lows, but what I’m really missing here are things like "Bicycle Bicycle, You Are My Bicycle" or even “October, First Account,” songs that really stick out. Now, Be Your Own Pet were never really original, but it’s a crying shame Get Awkward did nothing to remedy this but add a layer of production gloss and a few odd forays into diversity.

- Joe.

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user ratings (52)

Comments:Add a Comment 
March 17th 2008


I was waiting for someone to review this. Review is good, and this album's just alright. Kind of funny at times though.

March 17th 2008


This band had a cool video a while ago. Great review, I listened to the Book Slave the other day omg

March 18th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

I saw your summary and was like ZOMG yay, they got better! but alas, only a 3. Will check this out anyway, their first album was lots of fun, though i'm worried that you said they lost some attitude.

Digging: Grimes - Art Angels

March 18th 2008


Before I listened to this band, I always thought they were some shitty Ecstatic Peace band but I listened to their debut album and it was just really fun.

Good work.

March 18th 2008


yeah theyre pretty fun
sometimes obnoxious tho

March 18th 2008


Okay, I just bought this album today, and Becky is not on it. Neither is Black Hole or
Blow Yr Mind. and the band's myspace page, not to mention this review and several
others, list these songs as being on the album. Furthermore, the tracklisting is only
viewable on the inside of the digipak, meaning you don't find out about this until
after you've bought the CD.

What happened to these songs? This Message Edited On 03.18.08

The Jungler
March 19th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

aw man, that blows. I don't have a hard copy of the album, but I'd imagine you're right seeing as though iTunes lists the tracklist as you do. I'll try and edit the review up later.

I have no clue why anyone would do that.

edit: I guess it's because violent lyrical content, which is pretty lame.This Message Edited On 03.19.08

March 19th 2008


fun little novelty is all

March 19th 2008


For bonzob2000, those three songs were cut because their United States label, Universal, deemed Black Hole, Becky, and Blow YR Mind "too violent" to release here. Although I don't care for Becky or Blow YR Mind, not releasing Black Hole is an amazing shame... one of the best songs on the album.

March 22nd 2008


byoP's debut was ridiculously good fun; I should get this.

April 2nd 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

really good album in my opinion. i thought blow yr mind was pretty sweet, it's like 40 seconds of pure excitement.

May 15th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

This is a really fun album, it's just impossible to take seriously.

May 15th 2008


Are you supposed to?

July 24th 2014


This was such a fun album back when it was released... The Kelly Affair always brings back positive memories.

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