Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Be Your Own Pet

  • Damn Damn Leash [XL EP, 2005] *
  • Be Your Own Pet [Ecstatic Peace!, 2006] A-
  • Summer Sensation [Ecstatic Peace!, 2006] **
  • Get Awkward [Universal/Ecstatic Peace, 2008] A-
  • Get Damaged [XL EP, 2008] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Damn Damn Leash [XL EP, 2005]
Nashville pros' punk kids prove their parents are hipsters like musicians anywhere ("Damn Damn Leash"). *

Be Your Own Pet [Ecstatic Peace!, 2006]
Although their buzz came too early, this is one young band that did get better, not something being 16 guarantees--as paths go, both pretension and technique are pretty fucking forking. But at 18 or so, all four still identify as teens, and write for them. Mouthy, destructive, confused, sexed-up but no sex object, Jemima Pearl is the pearl. Guitar man Jonas Stein, who'll turn 19 this fall, takes the hyperactive rhythm section wilding. Yeah yeah yeahs all around. A-

Summer Sensation [Ecstatic Peace!, 2006]
Shambolic early versions of two album songs plus three U.K.-onlys, two excellent ("Hillmont Avenue," "Fire Department"). **

Get Awkward [Universal/Ecstatic Peace, 2008]
They grow up so fast. Once a punky brat, Jemima Pearl now sounds like a punk broad--like she might join the Donnas if that was a better job. But listen through the bigger voice and louder mix and you'll hear someone who's thinking all the time. Not about tunes--that's Jonah's department, which he's getting better at. About consequences. Then it's on to "Food Fight!" and "Zombie Graveyard Party!" "Next year she'll be 21, look out world she wants to have fun," she shouts. Only actually, it's this year. June 20, in fact. Uh-oh. A-

Get Damaged [XL EP, 2008]
One keeper satire, one displaced outburst and one minor threat, all declared too violent for full-length by bad ex-teens' megacorp ("Becky"). ***