Photo by Mitchell Wojcik
One of the best things about Pet Symmetry is their love of so-bad-they're-good puns. Aside from the obvious one right in their band name, a play off the similarly titled but still incorrectly spelled Stephen King film, Pet Sematary, they also applied their animal motif to their debut album title, 2015's Pets Hounds, after the iconic Beach Boys record. But perhaps their deepest love for this awful, awful wordplay runs in their self-mockery of the fact that, as three bespectacled musicians, they look like an advertisement for LensCrafters' line of indie rock eyewear. They poke fun at that with the title of their forthcoming sophomore record, Vision, and its lead single, "Stare Collection."
Looking past the eyesight jokes, which are even cornea than the pet jokes (sorry), Vision sees three pupils of sincere rock music (sorry again!) letting their hair down a bit from their more serious projects, Into It. Over It. and Dowsing, and embracing their snarkier alter egos. This tongue-in-cheek attitude shines through immediately in the band's live show in which the three often perform in matching Hawaiian shirts or varsity jackets, with giant dog flags draped over their amps—truly a spectacle (we seriously cannot apologize enough for these terrible puns).
"With Pet Symmetry, they're serious songs but there's an air of self-awareness and humbleness," says frontman Evan Weiss, who rounds out the band's lineup along with Dowsing's Erik Czaja and Marcus Nuccio. And while it once seemed like the Chicago three-piece was just a fun side project that might dissolve at any minute, Vision sees Pet Symmetry easing into the identity they've crafted for themselves over the last four years like they've got a serious future in their sights.
Vision is out from Polyvinyl on May 26.