Picture the sound of At The Drive-In. Now, remove all ambition to me more than just another emo band. What do you get? The Get Up Kids.
The above sentiment strikes me, upon reflection, as needlessly cruel. But I have trouble rejecting it as false. Maybe I don’t listen to enough emo from this era.
But if I were to try to come up with the difference between emo and the assortment of stuff we call “post hardcore,” a major part of that explanation would revolve around artsiness and ambition: emo is post hardcore without the quirk, without the ambition to be something more than “emotional rock,” without the ideas cribbed from art rock and prog rock and wherever else. And, as an unabashed fan of pretension in music, I am very much on the side of post hardcore, rather than emo.
But putting that aside, they are very energetic performers and I suspect that if emo is your thing this is a pretty good dose of is. The songs are what you would expect: impassioned pleas and the like, full of heartfelt lyrics. The songs themselves are catchy enough, too.
So it’s not like this record is bad, and it’s not like you won’t like it if you’re an emo fan, it’s just that I am not an emo fan, and I would much, much rather listen to post hardcore.
All tracks written by The Get Up Kids.
- “Coming Clean” 2:07
- “Don’t Hate Me” 2:54
- “Fall Semester” 3:21
- “Stay Gold, Ponyboy” 2:55
- “Lowercase West Thomas” 1:59
- “Washington Square Park” 3:08
- “Last Place You Look” 2:31
- “Better Half” 3:25
- “No Love” 3:05
- “Shorty” 3:22
- “Michele With One “L”” 6:02
- Matt Pryor – lead vocals, guitar
- Jim Suptic – guitar, vocals
- Rob Pope – bass
- Ryan Pope – drums
Robert A.A. Lowe – vocals
Bob Weston – producer, engineering, mixing