Review Summary: Proof that no matter how old you are, deep down we're all kids at heart.
At this point in time, “kids” is a bit of a misnomer when it comes to The Get Up Kids. For the last fifteen years we've been growing up along side them, and while the term maturation gets thrown around much too often when it comes to bands coming into their own, that is exactly what they have done. Unfortunately for the Kids, this has come at a price. Their 1999 debut full-length Something To Write Home About
basically defined an entire generation of bands stuck in the coming of age, heart on your sleeve world of pop punk, and still to this day is one of the most emulated releases on stages across the Warped Tour universe. Not ones to retread old ground, every subsequent album put out by The Get Up Kids since Something To Write Home About
has drifted farther and farther away from the sound that so many found so endearing. Up until their dissolution in 2005, The Get Up Kids tinkered with expanding their sound by getting in touch with their roots. Everything from folk, country and classic rock could be found in traces on On a Wire
and The Guilt Show
, and when the band reformed for the tenth anniversary of their seminal debut, it seemed that they would be continuing in this direction with the Simple Science
Well, we assumed wrong. The Get Up Kids' newest long player There Are Rules
is still unmistakably a Get Up Kids album, you can thank the distinctive voice of Matt Pryor for that, but it is far far different than anything the band has ever released. This is understandable given that they are all now in their 30's and trying to recapture the youthful nature of their earlier albums would be as genuine as faux fur. Where past Kids albums were driven by Matt Pryor's ridiculously catchy choruses and the constant push of overdriven power chords, There Are Rules
takes influence from long stay college-rock acts like Spoon and The Flaming Lips, working in heavy rumbling bass lines and spaced out synthesizer leads. It's a bit jarring at first, especially with tracks like “Shatter Your Lungs” that take these new ideas a little bit too far into left field and just end up sounding confusing for the sake of confusing, but it all ends up working out in the end.
For anyone looking for the feel good innocence and vigor of Something to Write Home About
this album is definitely not for you, but for those that discovered The Get Up Kids in time for them to be the soundtrack to your awkward and clumsy memories, There Are Rules
just might win you back over. After all, deep down there's a kid in all of us.