13 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

There Are Rules finds emo pioneers the Get Up Kids recording an album of all new material after having disbanded five years prior. From the first few notes of the opening “Tithe” the band’s comeback album immediately stands balanced with one foot in the past and the other foot in the now. The distorted vocals, brash guitars, pointed keyboard jabs and aggressive rhythmic attack recalls the genre’s roots — before emo became punk-pop ballads sung behind combed-over bangs, bands like Braid, the Promise Ring and Rites of Spring injected underground hardcore with accessible melodies and confessional lyrics. Here the band builds on classic emo with new ideas. Without sounding overbearing, James Dewees’ keyboards and synthesizers are more prominent than on early recordings. His electronic touches on “Shatter Your Lungs” provide deep-textured flourishes that work with the bass while complimenting the heavy guitar delay. In the album’s standout cut “Rally ‘Round The Fool” a twisted tangle of guitar effects and synthy soundscapes makes for a euphoric listening experience.

EDITORS’ NOTES

There Are Rules finds emo pioneers the Get Up Kids recording an album of all new material after having disbanded five years prior. From the first few notes of the opening “Tithe” the band’s comeback album immediately stands balanced with one foot in the past and the other foot in the now. The distorted vocals, brash guitars, pointed keyboard jabs and aggressive rhythmic attack recalls the genre’s roots — before emo became punk-pop ballads sung behind combed-over bangs, bands like Braid, the Promise Ring and Rites of Spring injected underground hardcore with accessible melodies and confessional lyrics. Here the band builds on classic emo with new ideas. Without sounding overbearing, James Dewees’ keyboards and synthesizers are more prominent than on early recordings. His electronic touches on “Shatter Your Lungs” provide deep-textured flourishes that work with the bass while complimenting the heavy guitar delay. In the album’s standout cut “Rally ‘Round The Fool” a twisted tangle of guitar effects and synthy soundscapes makes for a euphoric listening experience.

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