The Get Up Kids

There Are Rules

Written by: PP on 03/02/2011 06:49:37

Reunions rarely recapture the same passion and drive after a long hiatus, but in the case of emo legends The Get Up Kids, that simply doesn't hold. "There Are Rules" is their fifth studio album and their first since 2004's "Guilt Show", and guess what else it is? A record on par with their legendary output on albums like "Something To Write Home About" and "On A Wire", the latter of which this record appears to be a direct continuation of soundwise with a ton more keyboard added. Friends, if you are still wondering what all the fuss is about this 90s emo band, then "There Are Rules" is a great place to start from, a reminder of just how great original emotionally charged rock can sound when it isn't riddled with pseudo heavy and/or complex instrumentation rather than just simple, feeling-based music.

Now, if there's one thing The Get Up Kids have always been great at, it is at combining a slightly experimentalist, electronic twist and twang with an immensely accessible root sound, resulting in curious, even quirky rock songs that draw equally from indie rock as they do from pop punk and alternative rock. They are somehow able to mix together interesting and challenging layers of electronics and simple thumping bass with infectious chorus harmonies and unforgettable melodies. We're talking the kind that have you nostalgically looking back in retrospect a decade later and remembering exactly what you were doing when you first "got it" for a particular song. These moments are a dime-a-dozen on "There Are Rules", whether it's the fuzzy bass lines and almost screamed lyrics on "Pararelevant" or the introspective, thoughtful moods on "Tithe" or "Shatter Your Lungs". You name it, The Get Up Kids bring it, though their specialty is, in my opinion, in the angsty, subtly pissed off vocals that contain lots of distortion and passion without resorting into unnecessary screaming or shouting.

Another major strength of the album is how polish has been kept at bay preventing a disastrous pop overlay from ruining the record. What this means in practice is that "There Are Rules" is completely cheese-free, consisting solely of original, compelling songs that sound like they're coming from the heart. That's also why the sing alongs during songs like "Keith Case" feel so much more special, as if you need to rip your heart out and scream 'til your throat starts hurting rather than just anemically lip-sync as you'd do for all too many poppy-sounding bands these days. Leave it to the 90s heroes to show how it's done in 2011.


Download: Shatter Your Lungs, Tithe, Keith Case, Better Lie
For the fans of: Texas Is The Reason, Braid, Mineral, Midtown, The Movielife
Listen: Myspace

Release date 25.01.2011
Quality Hill Records

02 Keith Case by The Get Up Kids

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