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Review

Eccentric, bizarre lyrics central to Be Your Own Pet’s sophomore album, ‘Get Awkward’

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March 27, 2008

For a brief moment, Be Your Own Pet’s deepest song, “Creepy Crawl,” resembles Charlotte Perkins’ famous short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Desperation, loneliness and insecurity are abundant as Jemina Pearl, BYOP’s provocative front woman, sings, “It’s the same four walls that have always been / Just sitting in my room that I haven’t lived in / And I feel so completely changed / But everything around me is exactly the same.”

The song seeps into the skin, with hair standing erect, making one wonder if Be Your Own Pet has tossed aside their teenage angst in favor of psychological trauma and feminist psyches.

Nah. “Drug runs and beer busts it’s all I know / I don’t want to grow up and have to let go / I feel the pressure change my ways / All I see is more dark days,” Pearl shouts on “Super Soaked” while a sharp-bladed guitar and bass jab frantically to rushed drum beats.  If anything, on their sophomore album, Get Awkward, Be Your Own Pet is realizing their youth is quickly fading, causing panic and insecurity that screams through each track on the disc.

This is especially present when the band covers change in relationships (“Twisted Nerve”) and quiet sexual tension (“Heart Throb”). On “Bitches Leave,” drum beats drop like a ticking time bomb as Pearl shouts jealously, “Things are pretty in new Detroit, so go ahead and get to the point / There’s nothing up my sleeve / Take a hit, bitches leave.”

The album seems to be at a crossroads between a sense of no responsibility versus BYOP’s own self-realization. Perhaps it’s on “The Beast Within,” the album’s closing song, where they allude to the direction they’re traveling. “I’ve got no time left to learn / I only got time to burn / I’ll take your stuff and puke it up / Can’t you tell I don’t give a fuck?” Pearl snarls, blood soaking into her gums.

I’ll take that as a “no.”

Matthew Loosbrock is a student at UW-River Falls.