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|Saying Farewell to the Kids
The Get Up Kids Grow Up and Say Goodbye
April 23, 2005
by Melissa Mueller
As any diehard Get Up Kids fan knows by now, the band has decided to call it quits after 10 years of making angst ridden, emo-core music.
The news comes as somewhat of a surprise, as the band never showed any indication that they were seeking to part ways. Granted, many members had side projects (Matt Pryor’s semi-acoustic, smooth band The New Amsterdams and keyboardist James DeWees hilarious solo act Reggie and the Full Effect) but it seemed that the Kids always came first.
From their 1996 debut Four Minute Mile, to their very last show in Kansas City this July, the Get Up Kids have made an impact on the sound of emocore and stand as a successful indication of what angry rock should be.
Four Minute Mile has been described as “rough around the edges” but the raw sounds of “Come Clean” and “Shorty” are what made the band such a hit with fans. “I bet you’ll, you’ll never find a-, another friend like me!” Pryor screams in unison with the livid and fast guitar riffs. Some fans consider this album a classic staple while others believe that their follow-up, Something to Write Home About, is truly their masterpiece. With Home, it was where the Kids truly emerged as an emocore band: melodic and sad, but never whiny (which is often association with the emo genre) and always torment-driven lyrically. Fused with just a tad of punk rock, tracks like “I’m a Loner Dottie, a Rebel” became favorites among loyal fans and new fans alike. Themes of broken relationships and moving on became essential for the band, and listeners were able to relate to lyrics like, “It’s like you’re falling in love while I’m just falling apart.”
With Eudora, the band took a unique approach and created an album consisting of mostly covers, remakes of old songs, and a few rare B-sides. Undoubtedly one of their best records, the band made it clear that they had more in them than just emotionally-driven tunes. Impressive covers of David Bowie’s “Suffragette City,” The Cure’s “Close to Me,” and The Pixies’s “Alec Eiffel” and a ballad remake of “Newfound Mass 2000” made it one of those records that you never have to skip a single song. Their 2002 release, On a Wire, took a progressive turn towards a slower, softer sound that faithful listeners were most likely not accustomed to. In any case, songs such as “Grunge Pig” and “Stay Gone” indicated that the band was leaning towards poppier, less angst-motivated melodies. Their final release, Guilt Show, seemed to be more inspired by Pryor’s side project The New Amsterdams than original Get Up Kids material. Perhaps Guilt Show was a hint of the Kids’ collapse. While the band had clearly grown in their musical structure, they seemed to have taken themselves too seriously in the process. Songs like “Holy Roman” contained Pryor’s soothing, harmonious voice that was hardly consistent with typical Kids material.
Fans that are lucky enough to catch them on their final, brief tour will probably only be treated to original fan-favorite tunes. On their official website where they announced their break-up, they also declared that they would be releasing a live album as a final luxury to their fans. The Kids thanked all the fans for their dedication over the years, “Whether we slept on your floor in '97 or you drove all the way to Lawrence to see us play in '05.” They say that they will, “say goodnight, but mean goodbye.”
Hopefully in a few years the Kids will become restless and get back together, create more albums and tour, but until then they have grown up and moved on.