One of the more underreported sociological trends of the new millennium — thanks on one hand to the baby-boomer generation continuing to insist that the cultural zeitgeist is All About Them and on the other to the mainstream media's obsession with all things young 'n' kicky even when that only means coverage of whomever Paris Hilton is dating this week — is that Generation X has started shifting quietly into middle age. Along with the increasing use of former signature slacker-era tunes in TV ads and the steadily escalating number of college radio and alternative rock mainstays hitting the reunion tour and remastered anniversary reissue (with bonus tracks!) circuit, the latest evidence comes from how many indie rockers have started making children's albums. Alongside Elizabeth Mitchell of the moody slowcore act Ida and power pop icon Jason Falkner, Matthew Pryor's work with the Terrible Twos places him at the forefront of this little baby boomlet.
The Lawrence, KS-based singer/songwriter first gained indie rock fame as the leader of the Get Up Kids, a pioneering emo act that released four studio albums, a rarities compilation, and a farewell live disc between 1995 and 2005. In 2000, Pryor debuted a more acoustic side project, the New Amsterdams, which showcased a more personal side to his songwriting. As the Get Up Kids wound down, the New Amsterdams ramped up, releasing five albums (including one download-only disc) between 2000 and 2006. The Terrible Twos are the alter ego of the New Amsterdams, featuring the same lineup: Pryor on guitar and lead vocals, Dustin Kinsey on second guitar, Eric McCann on bass, and Bill Belzer on drums. Inspired by Pryor's desire to make an album of songs his three children would enjoy, the New Amsterdams recorded a batch of playful folk- and country-tinged tunes in Pryor's garage, roping in his kids to provide backing vocals and sound effects. Under the project name the Terrible Twos, Pryor initially self-released the album If You Ever See an Owl... in 2006. The album was then reissued in April 2007 via Poquito and Vagrant Records, the latter label being Pryor's previous home with the Get Up Kids. The duo followed up with its sophomore effort, Jerzy the Giant, in 2008.