Be Your Own Pet

Get Awkward (Ecstatic Peace!)

Phases & Stages

Be Your Own Pet

Get Awkward (Ecstatic Peace!)

Get Awkward opens fast and hooky, a Ramones-style rah-rah-rah. Then, Be Your Own Pet gets growing pains. The Nashville quartet was barely out of high school for its 2006 self-titled Ecstatic Peace! debut, racing at hyperpunk speed through tales of bicycling and partying. On Get Awkward, they seem vexed by adulthood. Jemina Pearl's 20-year-old scream has matured into a soulful howl, but lines like, "Some people say I'm disgusting; I don't care; I think they're lame," just flop on the ground. Redd Kross' Steve McDonald produced again, and the band, with a new drummer, isn't so awkward. They lock tight on an opening trifecta, especially pill-pop-punk single "The Kelly Affair," retold through Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. By mid-disc, "Bitches Leave" and "Bummer Time" have turned lukewarm-bratty, as the remainder of the album stumbles between self-destruction, self-reflection, and breaking shit, and not in a real cohesive way. Welcome to adulthood.

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