Released: October 6, 2009
Label: Ecstatic Peace, Universal
By: Mandie Garcia
Former front-woman of Tennessee punk band Be Your Own Pet, Jemina Pearl made her debut as a solo artist last October with the release of Break It Up. Be Your Own Pet was short-lived, but they stood out among a thriving Nashville punk scene with Misfits-esque ballads telling tales of zombies killing ex-boyfriends. Jemina Pearl the solo artist went into Break It Up confident in her solid fan-base, and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore as her producer. The result was an album full of young adult angst, and proves to be just as witty, raw, and exciting as her Be Your Own Pet days. Thurston Moore provides backing vocals in her single, "I Hate People." It's a humorously written track about bonding with a significant other over a shared dislike of dealing with people in grocery stores and restaurants. The funny and honest lyrics of the track paired with a dirty, distorted guitar make a great pop punk sound reminiscent of The Buzzcocks.
The rest of the album is consistent in its sense of humor towards life's everyday petty problems. Her track, "Heartbeats," is a complaint on anxiety problems and how its, "not all the cocaine or a chemical imbalance in the brain," that's causing these, "nervous system blues." Each track is full of quick and infectious guitar hooks similar to listening to a good Ramones song; so the album finds its way stuck in your head after just one listen. Songs like her track, "After Hours," a story of searching for love on a long night of drinking, appeal to her main audience of college kids thirsty for a revival of quality punk music. Break It Up is an album that will give you that second wave of energy mid-day and Jemina Pearl proves to be a strong front-woman as appealing as Debbie Harry was in Blondie's CBGB days.