Be Your Own Pet - Mommy (Green) LP

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Be Your Own Pet - Mommy (Green) LP
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2023 finds Be Your Own Pet not only back with a new album, but stronger than ever before. Due August 25, Mommy bolsters the group’s patented garage punk ferocity with matured songwriting, inspired musicianship, and a fervor to claim their space and define their future. “I’m not your victim, I’m my own person/ I’m not some casualty, I set myself free,” Pearl roars on lead single “Hand Grenade”, propelled forward by a burst of guitar shrapnel from Stein and a time-bomb rhythm section courtesy of Vasquez and Eatherly. Born during the group’s first day of writing, the track is both a vicious rebuke of the sexism and abuse that pervades the music world and a steely refusal to be defined by it. “That song’s one of my little babies,” Pearl says. “By telling our stories and sharing our truth, we can gain power back from a situation where we felt powerless.”

On Mommy highlight “Goodtime!”, that exaggeration comes through in the form of trying to balance two kids, a mortgage, and some FOMO. “Used to be the life of the party/ Crashing out nothing to lose/ Now I’m not so juvenile/ I got nothing left to prove,” Pearl shouts over a roiling garage thump, before quickly transitioning to wondering aloud whether everyone else is still hanging out and just not calling her. “The older you get, the more responsibility and compromise, the more people that depend on you—but there’s always a little bit of missing the freedom from when you’re younger,” she explains. Stein agrees: “You can be nurturing an adult life with your family but still looking over your shoulder like, ‘God, I wanna be partying.’”

The group have grown a lot since their first run, both personally and musically, but have managed to reshape their razor-edged swagger through the turmoil. “It got kind of dark towards the end. My own challenges with mental health probably affected everybody in the band. I was undiagnosed bipolar 1 at the time. It felt like we were just on this runaway train,” Pearl says. “Years later, we wanted to come back together in this new, more evolved place, to connect the threads between our old records and Mommy, while not worrying about what other people’s expectations might be.”

In the studio, the quartet reveled in leveraging their new freedom and strengths through their old formula. While Pearl had previously fitted lyrics into the others’ songs, she brought her own song ideas into the writing room for Mommy. Stein, meanwhile, relished the opportunity to riff out some new lead guitar parts after relinquishing that role while fronting Turbo Fruits. Vasquez evolved from a rough-around-the-edges rocker in the band’s early days to the band’s limber, inventive engine. Eatherly’s newly diversified skill set led to even more robust songs. “He’d be shouting out melody and production ideas while drumming,” Stein says. “He’s that super-talented motherfucker that pisses you off because he plays everything better than you.”

The thunderous capacity of the rhythm section powers songs like “Big Trouble”, a siren-laden jam where Pearl insists on her own emotions and reality. Elsewhere, “Worship the Whip” plays out like an explicit, leather-clad dom evolution of “Whip It”, the riotous “Pleasure Seeker” stomps and snarls through a glorious layer of fuzz, and reverb-laden retro ballad “Teenage Heaven” brings a relationship back to a place that’s no bickering and all making out.

With a fresh slate of tour dates already booked, Be Your Own Pet are looking forward to sharing this new version of themselves with fans who are thrilled to reconnect and new fans who may not have been old enough to remember their first run. But the band are also longing to reconnect with each other and a part of themselves. “Mommy is the bitch in charge, the one in control,” Pearl says. “It’s a reclamation of myself.” With that, the quartet are ready to step back out into the wild, vicious Be Your Own Pet world and rough things up again – but this time, on their own terms.

1 Worship The Whip
2 Goodtime!
3 Erotomania
4 Bad Mood Rising
5 Never Again
6 Pleasure Seeker
7 Rubberist
8 Big Trouble
9 Hand Grenade
10 Drive
11 Teenage Heaven