March 7, 2008
Be Your Own Pet
Get Awkward // XL
8 / 10
Three years ago, NME encountered Be Your Own Pet milling around outside a titty bar in their home town of Nashville. Giggling and playfully pushing each other through the threshold, they were behaving as rowdy kids should, because they were rowdy kids. At the time, it seemed like the vigour they exhibited live and on record could only be sustained for so long; an uncanny exuberance born out of a diet of Stooges records and barely-legal energy drinks that would fizzle out until they’d be eclipsed by the other youth troops they helped spawn. Yet, in the intervening years they’ve lost a member, fragmented into various half-formed side-projects and caused a nude riot at All Tomorrow’s Parties. Now, with second LP ‘Get Awkward’, they’ve redoubled their efforts and convinced us they’re still the best thing to come out of Tennessee since Jack Daniel’s and Kings Of Leon.
‘Get Awkward’ is the sound of being 15, stumbling home at midnight into your parents’ dinner party and vomiting on the canapés. It’s a white-knuckled paean to the messy youth they fear they could lose at any second, held together by the mesmerising, maniacal squall of Jemina Pearl’s riotous vocal chords.
From the seesawing buzzsaw riffing of ‘Black Hole’ to the paranoid doo-wop of murder fantasy ‘Becky’ it’s immediately clear that, musically, they’ve shaken off the inhibitions of their early years. There’s a similar lack of lyrical hang-ups too, with words reduced to a frazzled pile of obsessions including – but not limited to – Robocop (‘Bitches Leave’), kitsch Russ Meyer breastfest Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls (‘The Kelly Affair’), the undead, cutting up classmates with knives and, ahem, butt-sex.
‘Get Awkward’ is relentless, riotous and raw. It’s great to have them back.
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