The Chicago three-piece of Pet Symmetry have their music slightly more under-the-radar than their folk-punk, punk rock counterparts, but with their newest release of their first full-length, Pet Hounds, that will likely change. With their comical puns (get it, Pet Hounds? The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds… you get it) and lengthy track names, it’s apparent the group are in it for the fun of things. Yet, the members of still active bands such as Kittyhawk, Into It. Over It. and Dowsing have shed their former selves for the debut record of Pet Symmetry; even for only a moment (Into It. Over It. is already out on tour for 2015).
Starting off with the opening track “My Exhausted Month (of May)” sets the precedent for the rest of the album: an emo-revival structure (if emo ever left, that is) with a punk rock roof and a pop punk floorboard. Together, Pet Symmetry have a place to showcase their talents and their ability to reach out to more than one genre in the scene; Pet Hounds fits comfortably in anyone’s record collection.
The single “Give Thanks (Get Lost)” is a perfect blend of heavy melody, clean vocals and guitars that don’t muddle with the lyric prowess of the song. Like a punk tribute to any Green Album song from Weezer, “Give Thanks (Get Lost)” is flawless. “Go Outside (Stare At The Sun)” is reminiscent of bands similar to Pet Symmetry (e.g. other bands on Asian Man Records like Joyce Manor, Antarctigo Vespucci, etc). “Class Action Force (Useless Tools)” brings punk highlights back to Pet Hounds and showcases the go-to of pop punk (e.g. lyrics about sad boys walking around the park), but in a mature state of affairs. “Gone, Gone, Gone (Even Further Gone)” is a ballad-worthy parting song on the record before the outro and longest track, “Salad Daze (Seein’ Cred).” A play on words of Minor Threat’s popular song, “Seein’ Red,” the track is very shoegaze-y and has a Death Cab for Cutie vibe with heavier guitar breaks.
A solid record, I advise anyone who enjoys punk, pop punk, emo or folk punk to pick this album up. It’s unclear if the group will be going on tour anytime soon (other than fests), but when they do, go see them. This is a side project I hope to see turn into much more. With less than 7,000 fans on Facebook (and more than 50,000 for their more notable bands), Pet Hounds should add to the band’s low hype, as it is much deserved.