Review Summary: Final Album from the now depareted emotional pop punk legends. More accesible than ever but just as meaningful as the band ever were.6 of 6 thought this review was well written
In fairness to The Get Up Kids they never really stood a chance. As Jimmy Eat World, Saves The Day and even Green Day could no doubt tell you, when you make an album which achieves close to perfection within your field its is almost impossible to please your hardcore fan base with any future release. Yes if people could only accept that Saves The Day will never better Stay What You Are/Through Being Cool and Jimmy Eat World will never better Clarity they could surely appreciate their later, lesser releases far more. The Guilt Show is an excellent slice of indie pop. Far more self assured and laid back than Four Minute Mile and less experimental and overly strange than On A Wire it is their second finest album and to any other pop punk would be a fine achievement. Unfortunately we’re not talking about any other band, this band released an album called Something To Write Home About, in my opinion the greatest pop punk album ever written, it was original, powerful, aggressive, heartfelt; is The Guilt Show any of those things? Probably not. It would be pointless to attempt to constantly compare to two albums, as there can only be one winner. I’m a firm believer that albums should be judged on their own merits as tempting as it may be to shoot this down as not being Something To Write Home About.
Musically the Get Up Kids have gained maturity in abundance; some of the songs here are beautifully constructed. There is a very poppy, upbeat feel to this album. It kind of sounds like the album Elvis Costello would make if he got hooked on pop punk. In fact he already has the thick rimmed glasses so I’m sure he’d fit right in. Strangely the opener Man of Conviction
sounds far more like The Get Up Kids of old. It’s obviously a little short at just one and a half minutes in length but what with its fast pace and title I can’t help but think of Holiday, without drawing any comparison it’s a great Get Up Kids song. Driven by laden keyboard rhythms underneath some catchy chord progressions, already we have a highlight. Both The One You Want
and Never Be Alone
are a good measure of the sound of this album. Pop at its finest really, great well thought out melodies coupled with intricate song writing, There’s a subtle intelligence with The Get Up Kids, they don’t write songs with amazing technical guitar work but they do write perfectly constructed pop tunes which is an equally admirable but all together different kind of genius. Matthew has come a long way vocally and this is his finest performance. He has matured immensely, on Something To Write Home About he sounded like angst ridden, spotty teen where as here he has all the angst and none of the youth. Lyrically its as introspective and intelligent ever, “All poison and thrills, A handful of pills, Waiting around, Nails cut to the quick, Yeah, you broke what you fixed, You’re so underground” features on The One You Want, as always a tale of the struggles of relationships.
is quite easily one of the best Get Up Kids songs ever written. Its another quick number leading with the lines, “Just to get by and try to stay high, its a good life, end of discussion, and the hours like sand, the holes in my hand, I'm a good soul martyr me,” its opens with a great little keyboard riff and ends with a catchy outro of Matthew singing, “Tonight if your awake at all.” The song has everything you could want; fast verses, a huge chorus and a slow building outro which ends in a flourish, simply brilliant. How Long is Too Long
does nothing but build on that energy before we’re brought back down with Sick in Her Skin
. The strangest song here, it has a very slow start sounding like a normal Get Up Kids slow number before changing into a kind of Explosions in the Sky meets Sunny Day Real Estate finale, the guitars turn to gritty punk distortion while Matthew almost screams over the top and then for the last thirty seconds it sounds like any other song here. It just about passes as a Get Up Kids song and while I really like it, it seems like a strange addition. In Your Sea
utilizes James’ keyboard playing perfectly, it bounces up and down in the verse and takes a back seat for the guitars in the chorus.
As I’ve said before, I know this isn’t as good as Something To Write Home About but give it a chance and you might be surprised. If you haven’t heard The Get Up Kids before then enjoy this brilliant pop punk album. It has the good time feel any pop punk album should, but as you would expect from any Get Up Kids album it also features all the maturity and emotional song writing. Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy has been quoted as saying, “Without The Get Up Kids there would be no Fall Out Boy,” and Mark Hoppus proposed to his wife to a Get Up Kids song. This was the last studio album the band made before splitting up in 2005, it’s a good reminder of the legacy of such a hugely influential band.