album reviews

the Get Up Kids
There Are Rules
Quality Hill Records (2011)

Kindred spirits: The Promise Ring, Jimmy Eat World, Dashboard Confessional

The Get Up Kids release first album in 5 years

As far as reuniting bands go, the Get Up Kids are in an unenviable position. During the Kansas City band's first run (1995-2005), its emo sound was hugely influential both to its contemporaries and to the pop-punk scene that followed; members of Fall Out Boy and Blink-182 have cited the Kids as inspiration.

Then there's the added pressure of creating new material after a five-year break, which makes for high expectations for the group's newest (and first in seven years) release, "There Are Rules."

The album isn't an instant hit, but it does have moments that recall why the band was so loved in its day. Especially during such uptempo numbers as "Regent's Court" and "The Widow Paris," when Matthew Pryor's vocals are full of earnestness. Unfortunately, the band doesn't convey the urgency that these driving songs require.

The group does gel on a few more laid-back numbers. The darkness of "Rally 'Round the Fool" conveys a creepy mood, and the bouncing melody around Pryor's casual vocals on "Shatter Your Lungs" captures the relaxed enthusiasm of a band reuniting to make music again.

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post: 25 February 2011
.: There Are Rules on