The Get Up Kids spent the first half of their career creating a blueprint legions of future bands would emulate; however, they spent the second half attempting to escape their own sound. After breaking up for four years, and regrouping, TGUK seek to prove their validity by releasing their first album in seven years.
2009 marked the 10-year anniversary of TGUK’s most successful album, Something to Write Home About – an album Vagrant Records co-owner Jon Cohen put a second mortgage on his parent’s house to fund. This was a good enough reason for a reunion tour.
While in Europe, the band mentioned they were writing new material and would play at least one new song. One new song led to many and a concept for a string of EPs was planned. The “Simple Science” EPs would be a compilation of four songs each that would be recorded using authentic analog methods rather than relying on the convenience of modern digital recording technology. After one EP was released, TGUK opted to package the remainder of the songs planned for three EPs and release them as a full album.
There Are Rules stands as a blatant sonic reminder of a principle TGUK strongly believe in, “Never make the same album twice.” Determined not to be cornered by confining classifications, TGUK venture into a sound dominated by bizarre synthesized effects and swirling ambience where Matt Pryor’s distinct voice is the only thing fans will recognize in a wilderness of unfamiliarity. Unfamiliarity should, however, not be discounted as unlistenablility.
When a successful band makes a new album, the members have two general options: the safe option (follow the formula that led to previous success) or the gamble (create something new). Some would say TGUK have exhausted the gamble with their past three albums, but a closer examination proves the opposite. The success of their first albums came from composing genuine songs that weren’t carbon copies of what was commonplace at that time, in other words, their safe option was the gamble. The element of unfamiliarity has been present in each of their subsequent albums, only never again to such acclaim.
The Get Up Kids are drenched in validity because they continue to produce honest original material while other bands reach for relevance in replication.