Be Your Own Pet – “Hand Grenade”

Be Your Own Pet – “Hand Grenade”

One of the busiest bands at SXSW was Be Your Own Pet, the indie-sleaze-era garage-punk band who blasted out of Nashville as teenagers in the mid-aughts, released two wild albums in two years, and quickly broke up in 2008. The band played their first show in 14 years last spring, and after gigging relentlessly at this month’s Austin music marathon — where they whipped ass, I should add — they’re back today with their first song in 15.

“Hand Grenade” races directly back to that BYOP sweet spot of ragged, unhinged rock ‘n’ roll and danceable howl-along pop. Jemina Pearl’s chorus is mightily catchy without shifting out of riotous shouting mode: “I’m not your victim/ I’m my own person/ I’m not some casualty/ I set myself free!” Pearl’s comment on the track:

“Hand Grenade” started out as a threat to the people who harmed me, that I will make them suffer as I have suffered. But the song grew like a mirror to my own grief process, through anger, denial, sorrow. In the end I gain my power back not through violence, but through self acceptance and rejection of the labels others might put on me. I define myself, no one else.

Below, watch the “Hand Grenade” video, directed by BYOP drummer John Eatherly and shot on an iPhone in a basement.

05/05 – Atlanta, GA @ Shaky Knees Music Festival
06/03 – Barcelona, Spain @ Primavera Sound
06/06 – London, UK @ Moth Club
06/10 – Madrid, Spain @ Primavera Sound – Madrid

Kirsten Barnett

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