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Red Letter Day & Woodson (Remastered)

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Album Review

This CD combining two hard-to-find EPs (1997's Woodson 7" and 1999's Red Letter Day 10") provides an entertaining glimpse into two of the more raw and punk-edged stages in the evolution of the Get Up Kids. A brash but melodic nine songs, the thing that really jumps out is the transition that this group made in the two years between recordings. The four songs from Woodson (positioned last on this collection) are very rough-edged and full of furious energy, while the songs that originally appeared on Red Letter Day foreshadow the band's now trademark harmonies and dynamic songwriting. The urgent "Forgive and Forget" is contrasted by the poetic and yearning "Mass Pike," and both are jarred off balance by the indie punk of "Second Place." This pair of recordings serves not only as a fine introduction to one of emo's premier acts, but also as an interesting window into the growth of the band. [The second track appears in an even more refined form on 1999's sublime Something to Write Home About].


Formed: 1994 in Kansas City, MO

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Kansas City's Get Up Kids play melodic, pop-inflected emo similar to the Promise Ring and Braid, with whom the band released a split single in 1998. The influential group — vocalist/guitarist Matthew Pryor, guitarist/vocalist Jim Suptic, bassist Robert Pope, and drummer Ryan Pope (Robert's younger brother, who replaced Nathan Shay early on) — debuted in 1996 with a slew of 7"s, including Shorty on the Huey Proudhon label and All Stars on Doghouse Records. Both the Woodson EP and their...
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