Indie punk band The Get Up Kids are back with their first full length album release since their breakup in 2005.
The 12-track LP, There Are Rules, features an upgraded sound incorporating electronic synths while still featuring grinding guitars at the forefront of the tracks and frontman Matthew Pryor’s gritty vocal performance. Also still intact is the band’s heartfelt lyricism, which is elevated to a new level by the dark, industrial feeling behind this short-but-sweet record.
The album’s best cut is “Rememorable,” a steady, guitar-driven number featuring Pryor at his most vulnerable. His singing begins as a soft sneer when he emotes his disappointment in a significant other in the verses, building to a yell of “fade away” during the chorus. A barely-there, deteriorating synth in the background of the track, buried under heavy guitars and bass, captures the sentiment of the dying relationship Pryor laments in the song.
“Shatter Your Lungs” is another standout with its ’80s pop-inspired keyboard beat that deviates from the seriousness behind the rest of the album. This track relies less on guitars and more on overlapping synths that sound ripped from an old school boombox playing next to a break-dancer on cardboard. The band explores its more experimental side with this awesome oddity.
Highlighting The Get Up Kids’ upkeep of their guitar rock edge while still experimenting with sound, “Keith Case” is another key track on the album. The song starts out as a chill number with only drums, bass guitar and an ominous piano tolling in the background. The Kids tease the listener with a few guitars in between the verses until the song reaches the halfway point and unleashes guitar lines and Pryor’s sneer to full effect. As the track progresses, it gets more chilling and twisted, yet captivating.
With There Are Rules The Get Up Kids recreate their emo sound relevant to the electronic taste of today’s music industry while still moving in a new direction with the album’s experimental undertone. Even after their absence from the music scene for a few years, The Get Up Kids’ There Are Rules proves to be the exception to the usual crash-and-burn comeback rule that plagued many artists’ releases last year.