Pet Symmetry

The ways in which musicians tempt music fans into buying an album can be as interesting and colorful as the music itselft, especially when it comes to the items included in a physical release. Actually, I sometimes find the add-ons more entertaining than the music: I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about purchasing the “Ultra LP” version of Jack White’s Lazaretto for the vinyl’s bells and whistles (a hand-etched hologram?!), and not the actual songs. Sure, vinyl-specific gimmicks have their drawbacks—the elaborate pop-up art included in the deluxe double-LP version of Father John Misty‘s recent I Love You, Honeybear warped the records—and they can come off as cheap money grabs. But when a piece of nonmusical “flair” is executed in style it can reflect all the best parts of the music it represents.

This extends beyond just vinyl—fall down the rabbit hole of Storenvy sites for independent labels and you’ll find loads of band merch packaged to sell with new albums and EPs. Most groups will combine a new release with a T-shirt, but some also offer band banners or custom koozies. Local emo three-piece Pet Symmetry decided to take things a little further when it launched preorder packages for its forthcoming debut album, Pets Hounds; the group is selling dog food bowls with the words “Pet Symmetry presents Food” written on the side.

Get it?
  • Get it?

It’s a fitting idea for a band that regularly engages in what could easily be described as “dad jokes” and has a fondness for domesticated animals. The cover of its first seven-inch, a 2013 split with Florida’s Dikembe, features a Polaroid of a cat, and the album art for the follow-up single, Two Songs About Cars. Two Songs With Long Titles., is a photo of a dog poking its head out a car window. The band keeps the trend going with the cover for Pets Hounds, which features Chris Farren of Fake Problems posing with a couple bloodhounds.

I imagine the dog-centric cover art is the reason Pet Symmetry made a canine-specific food bowl, though that’s not to say all pets wouldn’t love it. I can’t say anything about the actual bowl—I don’t have one in front of me, nor do I own an animal to give it a test run—but the concept is in sync with Pet Symmetry’s fun-first blend of underground emo and pop-punk. The group’s released a couple tracks from Pet Hounds ahead of its release, and “Give Thanks (Get Lost)” and “Class Action Force (Useless Tools)” show Pet Symmetry’s expert grasp of euphoria and melancholy. All three members juggle other musical projects in the local emo scene, so the fact that these tracks are so on point isn’t much of surprise. Give both a listen while you think about buying one of those dog food bowls (and, in my case, daydream about owning a dog).