Just more than a year since Be Your Own Pet released its self-titled debut album, a BYOP pet project called Turbo Fruits emerges hitting just as hard. Vocalist and guitarist Jonas Stein and drummer John Eatherly (both of Be Your Own Pet, the latter having joined the band after Jammin Orral opted to go to college) and bassist Max Peebles compose their aggression into a mixture of surf rock and Bad Brains.
Opener “No Drugs to Use” places Stein’s brute lyrics on top of power chords galore and a ballast of drum and bass. The opening lines of “Murder” show Stein to use metaphor along the same lines Be Your Own Pet lead singer Jemina Pearl does: “I got away with a murder!” The album’s punk-rock backbone is reinforced by “20th I Was Blue” and “Devo Girl,” but Stein eludes repetition with diversified sounds throughout the album — no minor accomplishment for a band leader just out of high school.
“The Run Around” sees Stein taking a detour into serious surf-rock territory, with tight guitar solos echoed by rolling drums and verses beginning with the phrase “Hey pretty baby.” Although a bit self-indulgent, Stein sings a verse to no instrumentation in “Volcano.” “Tennessee, Baby” is an easy-going treat honoring the band’s home state with the same sentiment as the Silver Jews’ “Tennessee.”
When Thurston Moore launched Ecstatic Peace in 2006, Be Your Own Pet was definitely in the right place at the right time to release an album produced by Red Kross’s Steve MacDonald. The band (whose members had only recently gained the right to vote) took the road on tours with the Arctic Monkeys and Sonic Youth and got raving attention. Perhaps a bit premature for a side project, the Turbo Fruits’ aggression is every bit as potent as Be Your Own Pet’s. And for those yearning for Pearl’s riotous vocals, fear not: Be Your Own Pet is set to record its next full-length this summer.