Saturday, 12 April 2008

ALBUM: Be Your Own PET - Get Awkward

Photo by: Michael Lavine

Apparently three tracks were removed from the album by Universal for being ‘too violent’ and considering how wildly aggressive the remaining tracks are I get the feeling the censored tracks would make Hannibal Lecter look like he went around vomiting puppies, sunshine and rainbows.

Heavy drums and angular guitars team up to make ‘Get Awkward’ the sonic sledgehammer that it is. Still, for all the immediate fun of the completely transparent lyrics and its raw simplicity, at first I thought it was being cleverly ironic with the teenage angst-filled whining on the opener, ‘Supersoaked.’ By ‘Bitches Leave’ when Jemina Pearl let loose her criminal one-liner ‘you name-drop so much I want to rip off my ears’ it finally sank in that despite being in their twenties, Be Your Own Pet are angst-filled teenagers, closer to emo than punk in some ways. To be honest, although they can pull off the fury with a lot of conviction, the album sags in places enough to make all the rage seem as impotent as a thirteen-year-old’s tantrum. Comparing them with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs for being a garage punk band with a female vocalist is like comparing Avril Lavigne with Patti Smith under the premise that they’re both women in punk. Like Avril they lack both the actual intensity that you don’t need to scream to get and the maturity.

But for its lack of depth ‘Get Awkward’ is still a crazy fun album burning bright with an admirable if not slightly stupid early teenage swagger and charm. Tracks like ‘Food Fight’ and ‘Zombie Graveyard Party’ about beating up 6 year olds at their birthday parties and zombies eating your brains are mental and catchy enough make you laugh and dance at the same time while the relatively slow-paced ‘You’re A Waste’ is a surprisingly brilliant hooky pop moment. If you don’t mind the annoying attacks of whiny bitch ‘Get Awkward’ undergoes then it’s not a bad album. Or just skip the tracks about betrayal and all that other high school crap.

Ollie Khakwani

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