Album Review: The Get Up Kids, ‘There Are Rules”

So The Get Up Kids are back after seven years with the release of a new album.  To that I say “Cool, good for them.”  The band itself never really did it for me, but I will acknowledge one thing.  They are at this point in time much more in the category of Pop Punk than they are in Emo, the latter of which has since mutated from its heyday into a miserable beast of a genre.  The band themselves have even denounced and apologized for inspiring many artists of the current scene, for they don’t consider their music to have anything to do with the genre.  While I commend them for those statements, it really comes down to the music itself.

Nothing on this new album, “These Are Rules,”  is necessarily bad.  There are a few great songs, and my biggest notice is that the bad sounds way different than they used to.  They sound sure of themselves instead of whiny and achy, and that’s honestly a huge improvement from their heart-on-sleeve past.  Also, the album shows that they aren’t afraid to bring the rock, as almost every song has a fuller band sound than they’ve used in the past.

Now, as for the problems I have for the record, they’re really only things the band could have done better.  The biggest issue I have is that the album itself isn’t well recorded.  Unless it’s just the version I have, the vocals are a bit too buried under the bass throughout the record.  Speaking of the bass, the Kids have given it a very electronic feel (which I’m guessing is to be more contemporary), and it gets to be a bit overwhelming.  In fact, the effects used all over the album hit a mark of overuse that ends up detracting from the whole.  Coupled with the fact that there are a few songs that are unnecessarily long, the album gets boring after the first half.  More than a few songs could have a minute cut from their time, and the album would end up more consistent as a result.

While the songs aren’t poorly written, they often lack a grabbing hook that makes one want to come back.  The only songs that I remember now are “Automatic” and “Pararelevent,” and I highly recommend them to any music fans, not just ones of the older emo variety.  They are good both musically and lyrically, and are a fun take on the genre’s newer sound.  All in all, the Get Up Kids have officially gotten better in my eyes.  Surprisingly, I look forward to what they might do in the future, though I hope it is recorded a tad better…

For more information on The Get Up Kids check out their official website, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter pages. Get There Are Rules now on iTunes!

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