Be Your Own Pet | 11.15.06

byopJemina Pearl, who could easily pass for age ten, not 18, shook like the lovechild of Deborah Harry and Iggy Pop on drugs. In an insane asylum. Covered in bugs. And it was wonderful.

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Photo: Brandon Wann

 

Creepy Crawl, St. Louis

OK, here's a question. Does Be Your Own Pet tour with their parents? Regardless, the four young rockers share an average age of only 18. You probably already knew that. Everyone does. Before they even played, I tried desperately to spot them out in the crowd. But on an average Wednesday night at a half-full Creepy Crawl, they blended in with every other teenager sporting a quirky T-shirt. I have to admit, as a 26-year-old, Be Your Own Pet is not my thing. I even felt a little creepy being at such a youthful event. Although, if I was impressionable, 16, had an identity crisis, and had way too much energy…I'd be all over it like a teen on a six-pack.

There is no denying that with all the press the band is getting, all eyes are on Be Your Own Pet to be the next important thing in a dying punk-rock genre. They do have the important elements in place: youth, energy, a bass player who can't be understood when he talks, and many songs under two minutes. Oh, and they rock, too. When the band took the stage, upon seeing the extremely tiny stature of lead singer Jemina Pearl (not just a stage name, but a great one at that), I did not expect the band to be as tight and explosive as they were. Pearl, who could easily pass for age ten, not 18, shook like the lovechild of Deborah Harry and Iggy Pop on drugs. In an insane asylum. Covered in bugs. And it was wonderful.

If the band were older, they may not be able to pull off the kind of set they can right now. Being young is what this band is about and they proudly wear their age on their sleeves. "Wake the fuck up!" Jemina ordered, slowly bringing the melancholy crowd to life, and eventually to frenzy, with their jab-a-pen-in-your-eye numbers. New drummer John Etherley played the drums with the precision of a surgeon. But the truth is, there's nothing adolescent about the band's musicianship. Each member has their instrument mastered for the music, easily trucking through tunes like "Bicycle Bicycle, You Are My Bicycle" and "Wildcat!"

When out of my element, becoming immersed in what's happening on stage is a little difficult. But Be Your Own Pet makes it easy to have fun. How long will they last? Will they get better or worse with age? Something tells me that Be Your Own Pet doesn't think about these kinds of things. | Chris Schott

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