REVIEW: The Get Up Kids – “There Are Rules”

The Get Up Kids / There Are Rules / Quality Hill Records

The Get Up Kids have been around a while, but not since the 1980’s. You’d never know that judging by the hyper retro-active tunes heard on this, their fifth full length. Not content to release an album that could quickly be swept under the tear-drenched “emo” rug, they have seemingly looked into the past for this release to a time before that oft-misused descriptor even existed. The frenetic dissonant guitars on “Regent’s Courts” and “Rememorable” are almost enough to make a listener forget which side of the Atlantic the band is from, before the earnest verses and wailed choruses reveal their mid-Western origin. Experimental bass and synthesizer effects transform songs alternatively into call backs to dreamy 80’s pop (“Shatter Your Lungs’) and crunchy lo-fi codas creepy enough for the goth kids (“Keith Case”).

It’s a remarkably confident approach, considering it is such a different product than what many probably expected for the band’s first effort a) of the decade b) since 2004’s The Guilt Show and c) since the four-year hiatus which led to that album often being called their “final album”. It’s got far more depth instrumentally than nearly anything else that’s been released this year, and what’s even more surprising is how these multiple layers actually increase the album’s re-listenability. There are rules all right, but The Get Up Kids aren’t following any of them.

Download: “Rememorable”, “Keith Case”

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