This blog is now closed.

Please go to the new blog, Desert Island Mixtapes for all the latest posts.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Album Review: The Get Up Kids - There are Rules

Initial Thoughts Album Review

There Are Rules

After a first listen, I am a bit lot for words.  If I didn't recognize Pryor and Suptic's voices, I would not in a million years have known this was a Get Up Kids album.  Portions sound heavily influenced by some of the grittier keyboard-based sounds of Dewes' Reggie and the Full Effect.  The track "Birmingham" would fit well on a Japandroids release.  "Shatter Your Lungs" seems out of place - fitting better with the likes of "Fountain of Youth" from Pryor's side-project New Amsterdams' album, At the Foot of my Rival.

There are Rules is dominated by lots of fuzzy distorted bass, distorted effects on vocals and electronic noise - none of which are elements familiar to longtime TGUK fans.  In addition, the timbre and tone of the guitars is strikingly on the treble end - little bass-end distortion on the guitars - little traditional punk palm-muted rhythms.

This is one of their more consistently noisy efforts since Woodson or Four Minute Mile.  The more pop-oriented sensibilities of more recent releases make appearances, but they are fleeting and isolated to a few tracks.  A lot of noise here.  It sounds a bit like a band, now reunited, wanting to reemerge with a new and evolved sound.  This would be par for the course, as each of their previous releases signaled significant departures in sound.  However, this new effort sounds like that evolution was a bit forced.  It sounds like they are trying to NOT sound like their previous albums (and they succeed), but the result lacks a consistency that most of their other big changes (On a Wire, in particular), did maintain.  I get that this isn't the same old Get Up Kids - they have made that point loud and clear.

I am left asking myself, however, what then is this?  I hear a bunch of fractured sounds, ideas and approaches thrown together.  It is not that I don't like it.  In fact, I rather enjoy all the noise, angst and gritty vocals.  But, I am not sure how well it all holds together... Perhaps after a few more listens things will start to gel and make sense...we'll see...

Out January 25th 


  1. Hello, I'm sorry to comment on this post about something unrelated, but I follow your blog and I know that you have experience with vinyl. I'm looking to buy a record player, but I'm not sure how to choose. I've read several articles, but I was just wondering about your opinion. Is there a particular brand/type of turntable that's of a good quality but also a price that's fairly low?

  2. @anthonyform. email me at musicsnobsanonymous[at]gmail[dot]com and I can give you some tips.