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There Are Rules (Bonus Track Version)

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iTunes Review

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.

Customer Reviews

Refreshed and revitalized, the Get Up Kids are ready to take the world by surprise

For some reason, every time The Get Up Kids release a new album, people are surprised that it doesn't sound like Something to Write Home About. Maybe that was understandable in 2002, back when On a Wire made the shift from energetic power pop to a more alternative sound, but now more than ten years on from the release of the band's seminal 90's album, there isn't really an excuse. Now five albums in, no two Get Up Kids records have sounded the same, while at the same time always sounding like a "Get Up Kids album."

So when I say that There Are Rules is likely the best thing the band has put out to this point, don't take that to mean that it's any kind of return to Something to Write Home About. I never imagined I'd be thankful for the band's dissolution in 2005, but clearly the three years apart working on vastly different musical projects (Spoon, The New Amsterdams, Blackpool Lights, Reggie and the Full Effect) has grown each of them as musicians. The result is a band that sounds like it's having fun again, in a way that hasn't come through this loudly since Four Minute Mile. It's wildly experimental at times, but it never stops being a Get Up Kids album.

In all reality, the Get Up Kids are the best of the "high school bands," because they're the one that grows with you. It's depressing to see bands like the Ataris making a desperate return to their old sound after fans rejected the wildly different (but promising) "Welcome the Night." Nobody wants to see guys in their late-30's trying desperately to sound like they did in their early twenties so kids in high school will like them again.

Thankfully, there's nothing desperate about "There Are Rules." If anything, it's openly defiant. The album closer, "Rememorable," reads as pre-written response to their detractors, ending with a simple decree: "You've got it all so wrong/Why don't you go away?"

Emo Has Grown Up

And so have the Get Up Kids. In many way, I'm surprised and thankful for this record's existance. First off, this album (along with JEW's Invented) does an incredible job at unvieling this new-side of emo (what many are starting to call post-emo), and, for those who don't know, this kind of music is the 'real' soul of emo. Not the highly glam influenced, over-the-top pop bands with an abundance of riff chugging, cliche breakdowns, and death grawl (screamwannabee) tactics. It's hard for me to even believe that people get the two mixed up. But anyway, I believe the Get Up Kids are further expanding on their indie roots as well as incorporating new genres and elements into their music (i.e. Shatter Your Lungs, Rally 'Round the Fool, and Birmingham). I'm seriously enjoying this new album and I know I'll only grow to love it more with all it's got to offer. I strongly reccomend this album for old comers and new comers of emo, indie, pop punk, and fans of the independant music scene of the 90s and 00s; but I also reccomend this album for music lovers in general and those who love poetic, mature lyrics. Even the scene kids would love this album, and they could do with a brushing up on their history.

And I thought the younger generation couldn't hang're right reviewers it's not the get up kids of's better. They have grown up, I agree. This album fills in the gaps between Weezer and MGMT, and does so better than either of them. This is a lush soundscape of music not to be missed. It borrows bits and pieces from the 80s 90s and 00s, and fuses it all together in this album which I will be listening to for years to come. Well done get up kids....well done.


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 debut full-length,...
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