music reviews

Be Your Own Pet Summer Sensation [Ecstatic Peace]


So you’re at home and you’ve just polished off a delicious box of Lucky Charms. After spending a minute to reflect on the satisfaction that those frosted oats and colored marshmallows give you, do you immediately strap on your shoes and rush to your local grocer to pick up the generic version? You know, the one that’s on the lowest shelf and comes in a plastic bag and it’s called Magical Shapes or some bullshit? Wait, you do? Well, then I think I know a band you might like.

If there’s one word to describe Be Your Own Pet and their ep Summer Sensation, it’s “Challenging”. But not because of their music or lyrics or their stance on global issues. No, it’s because as a music reviewer I can’t think of one goddamn thing to say about this band that doesn’t include the words “Sounds exactly like The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s”. Sure, you can dig deep into this five song, 13 minute record and find the harmless minutiae that somehow separates the two bands, but why would you even try? Don’t you have a job and the occasional load of laundry to do? Aren’t you still busy dissecting the subtle nuances of the last three Missy Elliot singles? But don’t even worry; I’ll save you the time-

1. Be Your Own Pet has a bassplayer.
2. Be Your Own Pet is worse than The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s.

There you have it. BYOP exist because of YYY, and like every band that hitched their dinghies to The Strokes cruiseliner, they’ll be on the bottom of the indie rock ocean before YYY hits their iceberg. And even when all of this is taken into account, The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s aren’t even that good to begin with. It’s not like these jokers are cribbing fucking Elvis Costello.

But maybe you’ve never heard The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. Because that’s humanly possible. Well ok then, time traveler from feudal Japan, here’s the lowdown- Frantic garage rock with viciously dulled hooks and hyperactive attention whore vocals wrapped up in 2 minute bursts of something you’d call “snotty” if it wasn’t so mean-spirited. Jemina Pearl’s vocals are able to simultaneously be weaker and more grating than anything Karen O can screech, with whines like a 14-year old cat creeping out the neighborhood because she still sounds horny.

But really, the most unfortunate part is how out of touch this band comes off. With YYY already moving on with a more “mature” record, BYOP helps you remember why you wanted to move on too, and the in-your-face riot grrrl attitude that was on life support three years ago is now officially as punk as seeing Iggy Pop on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

If you’re looking for a healthy dose of background music for a party filled with cheap blow, Sparks, and 35 of the exact same haircut, give Summer Sensation a spin. But don’t come crying to me when you chip your tooth on a brown marshmallow lightning bolt.


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By Shane Mehling

Shane Mehling is an underground political and art collective based outside of Austin, TX.

In 1974, shortly after President Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon, Duke University graduates Emmanuel Shane and Barrick Mehling began a small counterculture magazine called "Shatter" questioning the power of the US government and what they saw as the apathy of its citizens. By the Summer of 1975, interest and circulation in Shatter had risen to a point where Shane and Mehling felt it necessary to move their operation to a more advantageous location. Deciding on Los Angeles, they left on July 7th, but never reached their destination.

Their badly charred remains were found on the outskirts of Austin six weeks later. Their vehicle and all of its belongings (including the next 2 issues of Shatter) were never recovered. Conspiracy theories involving various high-level organizations have been put forth, but no "Smoking gun" evidence has ever been uncovered.

Roughly five years later in 1980, the name "Shane Mehling" began to pop up connected with guerrilla art installations, scathing critiques in major newspapers, and anarchical underground records. If an address were made available, it would always be the site of the murders. Little is known about the actual inception of Shane Mehling, but it has been pieced together that the main goal is to carry on the tradition of Shatter by questioning the roles of government and popular culture through any viable form of communication.

While its members remain anonymous, rumors abound that celebrities such as actor Benicio Del Toro, the late biologist Steven Jay Gould, and
satirist P.J. O'Rourke have made significant contributions to Shane Mehling related works.