Pet Genius

Emily Youssef

Who? After the prog-tinged alt-rock outfit Cave Inannounced their hiatus in fall 2006, guitarist/vocalist Stephen Brodskycalled up his former bandmates, drummer John Robert Conners (Cave In,Doomriders) and bassist Johnny Northrup (Octave Museum), to assemblethe psychedelic garage rock of Pet Genius. The trio issued the Elvis UnreleasedEP -- check their MySpace blog for gory details behind the title --before releasing their self-titled full-length in October via the HydraHead label.

What's the Deal? Fuller than the WhiteStripes and more plain-spoken than Black Mountain, Pet Genius smartlyplays the line between poppy songwriting and hard pounding riffs.Opener "Doomsday" rips right out of the gate with raw clashing guitarchords and catchy vocals, while the should-be-a-radio-hit "Walls ofEtiquette" trembles with revenge before unleashing an unapologeticblast of rawk thunder. But Pet Genius isn't all heart-thumping,in-your-face reverb outbursts. They take a breather on "The VisitingDynamiter" and "Man of the Mountain," where the guys go acoustic andBrodsky gives his best falsetto wails.

Fun Fact:Frontman Stephen Brodsky claims to be an award-winning Bartitsu stickfighter. The martial art was first popularized in 19th Century Englandand was named by its originator -- a hybrid between jujitsu and his ownname, Edward William Barton-Wright.

Now Hear This:
Pet Genius - "Man of the Mountain" DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web:
Pet Genius at MySpace

Talk: Pet Genius: genius or jester?

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