ARTIST: THE GET UP KIDS
LABEL: BIG SCARY MONSTERS
WORDS: CHRIS PRENATT
It’s been 12 years since the emo gods gifted us ‘Four Minute Mile’, the debut album from legends The Get Up Kids. Since then, their sound has helped influence groups like Silverstein, Blink-182, and Fall Out Boy, dropped five incredible albums, and are now considered one of the most influential emo bands of all time, alongside The Promise Ring and Cap’n Jazz.
Fast forward to 2019. Emo has changed with bands like The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, Into It. Over It., and Foxing taking over. All of The Get Up Kids are in their early 40’s. The guys are now dads, have families, and having to deal with adult situations. The problems the group are facing aren’t turning them weak, but are instead making them stronger.
‘Problems’, the first album from The Get Up Kids in nearly a decade (their last record was their comeback album ‘There Are Rules’ in 2011) shows the band more mature than ever, fueled by loss, isolation, and the anxiety of just existing. It’s an emo album for the older kids, those in their twenties who are feeling the same way. This album just might be the more mature version of their beloved sophomore record ‘Something To Write Home About’.
“an emo album for the older kids, those in their twenties feeling the same way.”
Kicking off their first album in eight years is “Satellite”, beginning with a nice acoustic guitar before the rest of the group joins in and shifts everything into another gear. This song gets you ready for the rest of the album, foreshadowing what the rest of the album’s 12 songs will have. The track deals with the feeling of being isolated within your own little world.
The feelings of loss and loneliness radiate strong on ‘Problems’, sounding like the most adult emo album of all time. Each track seems to reach into the souls of those who feel the same way, as if vocalist/guitarist Matt Pryor and company knows what we’re going through. Even their songwriting has improved on ‘Problems’. The Kansas City, MO, quintet’s lyrics speak to our souls, dealing with growing up (“Lou Barlow”), fake friends (“Fairweather Friends”), being old (“Brakelines”), uncertainty (“Now Or Never”), and isolation (“Satellite”). The emotion they pack on Problems delivers one hell of a punch, and it will all come crashing down on you on the soul crushing finale “Your Ghost Is Gone”, a nearly four minute long track that will make you cry.
“it’s safe to say that The Get Up Kids, even though they’re older, are still able to shine as brightly as they did back in the late 90’s.”
‘Problems’ does have some pretty stellar tracks. “The Problem Is Me” has an incredible intro and these vibes that scream Motion City Soundtrack. “Waking Up Alone”, even with its harsh reality based lyrics, is one hell of a jam, mixing old school emo with a pop styled mentality. The longest track on the album, “Salina”, has this relaxing style to it, backed by guitarist Jim Suptic’s riffs and keyboardist James Dewees soft piano melody.
Overall, Problems is The Get Up Kids returning back to what makes them great. No gimmicks are needed on this album. From what we heard on their 2018 EP ‘Kicker’ and then what we heard here, it’s safe to say that The Get Up Kids, even though they’re older, are still able to shine as brightly as they did back in the late 90’s.