The Get Up Kids
Four Minute Mile


4.5
superb

Review

by Eric USER (161 Reviews)
August 20th, 2010 | 66 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist


The 4:00 mile is running’s most acclaimed benchmark. Without a doubt, the standard has lost some of its intrigue over the years as it’s become more realistic, but back in the mid-1900’s it was widely believed by runners and scientists alike that such a feat was impossible, that your heart would literally explode upon attempting the endeavor. Now that the mile record has gone well under 4:00, by a whopping 17 seconds, what used to seem so distant is now achieved by professional middle-distance runners across the globe. In a sense, the album name here is pretty apt. Four-Minute Mile is truly a milestone of the genre. Like breaking the 4:00 mile put Roger Bannister and running on a grand, international stage, Four-Minute Mile did the same for the youthful band from Missourri who soon found themselves touring Europe and Asia, fresh out of high school. With their debut album Four-Minute Mile, The Get Up Kids solidified themselves as major players in the second-wave emo scene, as well as single-handedly jumping the gun on what would turn into the 21st century’s pop-punk. It makes perfect sense that Four-Minute Mile is so influential and prominent. While it may be a bit rash and haphazard at times, The Get Up Kids concoction of emo and humungous pop hooks is intensely lovable. Lyrically intelligent and relatable, emotional, and endearingly catchy, it pains me to think of an album better suited to reminisce being 17 years old and carefree.

For the sake of accuracy, it should be made clear that The Get Up Kids’ subsequent album, Something To Write Home About, is widely heralded as the true album that influenced so many big-name pop-punk acts. It should also be mentioned that The Get Up Kids wish to disassociate themselves with subsequent pop-punk. Guitarist Jim Suptic took the time to make this obvious when he said, “The punk scene we came out of and the punk scene now are completely different. It's like glam rock now. We played the Bamboozle fests this year and we felt really out of place... If this is the world we helped create, then I apologize.” With the mounds of influence, though, that dissociation is tough to come by. Acts like Blink-182 and Fallout Boy regularly cite TGUK as a cheif predecessor. It’s not just the big names either, listening to The Early November’s “Baby Blue,” you can hear an ode to TGUK both lyrically and melodically, when they repeat lines from “No Love,” ”I don’t / want you / ... to love me anymore”. How exactly did such an inexperienced, juvenile, quintet make such a prominent footprint so early in their career?

The Get Up Kids most coveted asset is their uncanny ability to take the long-standing emo aesthetic and make it delightfully accessible and upbeat. Through a plethora of well-crafted melodies, catchy hooks, and choruses, TGUK injected some “pop” into their emo, and the hybrid was born, Four-Minute Mile. “Coming Clean,” “Don’t Hate Me,” “Stay Gold Ponyboy,” and “No Love” all contain gloriously refreshing melodies and hooks. Keep in mind, this is well before that same catchiness was left out in the sun one-too-many times and eventually became stale. Either way, Four-Minute Mile is undeniably infectious, an album as easy to sing along to as it is to get absorbed in the lyrics. Be wary though, these are the minds of high-schoolers on TGUK’s debut. Four-Minute Mile was recorded in a single weekend, after drummer Ryan Pope got out of school on Friday and finished before the bell on Monday morning. In effect, the listener becomes privy to an insightful look into the psyche of The Get Up Kids, mostly filled with thoughts on love, relationships, and life before responsibility. The carefree vibe of Four Minute Mile meshes perfectly with both the massive pop hooks, and the more introspective, slow-burning tracks like “Better Half,” most notably.

As my present review unfolds, it becomes more and more placid what the biggest draw on Four-Minute Mile is- the complementary nature of the album. The raw energy galvanizes the lively lyrics. The catchiness sits alongside the album’s pithiness, giving the album an air of such listenability. Perhaps most notable, though, is the production-- or lack thereof. Four-Minute Mile, as you’ve probably guessed, isn’t the most polished release. Raw, tattered, and rough, the intimacies of Four-Minute Mile aren’t lost among too much glitter and paint. The personal nature of the album is heavenly, and only serves to heighten the experience, like anything other than a slipshod production would have made Four-Minute Mile half the album it is.

Speculations aside, Four-Minute Mile is what solidifies The Get Up Kids as pop-punk forefathers, for me. Despite their more newfound disillusionment with the scene they inspired, their influence is indisputable and deserved; and Four-Minute Mile remains the primary source of this inspiration. Before responsibility, complications, and real life is thrust upon you, revel in The Get Up Kids; because they personify the insouciant and idealistic life of 18 year old, American guys with nothing but girls, graduating high-school, and leaving their hometown on their minds. Better yet, listen to Four-Minute Mile well after those sublime years have fleeted, and reminisce quietly... or while screaming your lungs out to “No Love” and “Coming Clean," like I do.



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user ratings (225)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
SeaAnemone
August 20th 2010


20970 Comments


No review for this??!! Maybe I shouldn't have... but I did expect better from you Sputnik.

Digging: Viet Cong - Viet Cong

Deceptioneer
August 20th 2010


509 Comments


i can run a 10 minute mile lol

ConsiderPhlebas
August 20th 2010


6157 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Needs more 10 second 100m

ConsiderPhlebas
August 20th 2010


6157 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review. Pos.


You've missed a " in the last line.

SeaAnemone
August 20th 2010


20970 Comments


thanks man, and yeah nice catch... I'm assuming you've heard this?


and the 4:00 barrier is actually a little personal goal of mine by the time I finish college ; ) unlikely... but still

crazyblinddude
August 20th 2010


3389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool review Sea. I had a feeling you'd be the one to write the first review for this. Nice rec section btw.

SeaAnemone
August 20th 2010


20970 Comments


gracias... you a Hey Mercedes fan by any chance?! I never see them get any credit here for being awesome, when they most definitely are

Ponton
Emeritus
August 20th 2010


5820 Comments


I read an article about this album back in 07, but forgot much of it sadly.

Might be something id check out in the future. i got in the five-minute zone a few times a year or so back, but never been really interested in sprint training and stuff to practice more, good review, vote to counter any future negs

Digging: Gates - Bloom and Breathe

ConsiderPhlebas
August 20th 2010


6157 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah I've heard it man, although it was way after I heard Something.. so it never clicked as much as that record. I like it a lot though.




Good luck with the 4min mile. Saw someone try it once, didn't look pleasant.

SeaAnemone
August 20th 2010


20970 Comments


and yeah this was kinda inevitable crazydude...
running? pop-punk/emo? there's no way I could not review it

crazyblinddude
August 20th 2010


3389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've actually only have gotten to listen to Everynight Fire Works, but I thoroughly enjoy it. I do agree that they need a lot more praise on this site though.

sniper
August 20th 2010


19079 Comments


Should I check this or Something to Write Home About first?

SeaAnemone
August 20th 2010


20970 Comments


STWHA seems to be the general consensus, it's a lot more produced, but to be honest I enjoy this significantly more, I'd recommend this

sniper
August 20th 2010


19079 Comments


Okay. I was planning on checking out both but I'll go here first in case coming back to it after Something is underwhelming.

ConsiderPhlebas
August 20th 2010


6157 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah that was my experience, Sniper. Took me awhile to get into this because of the order I heard 'em. It was like reading Lord of the Rings as a kid and then The Hobbit. Bad idea.

sniper
August 20th 2010


19079 Comments


Yeah that was my thinking. I'd rather hear them both on their own terms so I don't have to compare so much.

SeaAnemone
August 20th 2010


20970 Comments


I haven't yet heard On A Wire though... if anybody cares to weigh in on the quality of that one?

sniper
August 20th 2010


19079 Comments


Redsky says it's a 4. That's a pretty good rec I think.

ConsiderPhlebas
August 20th 2010


6157 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

On a Wire was a little disappointing, but still great. More downbeat and acoustic than their other stuff.

sniper
August 20th 2010


19079 Comments


Listening to this now.



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