The Get Up Kids - Problems - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Get Up Kids - Problems

by Jim Cunnar Rating:8 Release Date:2019-05-10
The Get Up Kids - Problems
The Get Up Kids - Problems

Being in a band is a lot like being in a relationship.  At first, the honeymoon period is awesome.  It’s exciting and new, with a certain novelty which can be intoxicating.  As time passes, the grinding work begins, and like a lot of relationships, some bands come to an end.  The healthy ones figure out a way to grow, as individual members and as a group, which allow for the natural changes that occur to improve, not wedge between, the songwriting and performances. 

Kansas City, Missouri's post-punk stalwarts The Get Up Kids are one of those bands. Twenty five years along, their latest release Problems is easily one of their strongest releases, rivaling their renowned sophomore effort Something to Write Home About. Problems is a cohesive, massive work, chock full of huge hooks, thoughtful lyrics and enough energy to remind you that the old guard can still bring down the house. 

Opener “Satellite” starts off Problems perfectly, a blend of Matt Pryor’s offshoot The New Amsterdams and old school Get Up Kids.  Beginning with Pryor on his acoustic, he sings “It’s a long way down for me…” as the song blasts off into a rollicking ride of power pop. Follow-ups “The Problem Is Me”, “Salina”, “Now Or Never”, “Lou Barlow” and “Fairweather Friends” continue the big hook onslaught.  These songs are bold and strong, with the GUK playing to their strengths with a confidence that comes from years of being together. 

The back half of Problems doesn’t quite live up to the first six songs.  “Symphony of Silence” harkens to another midwest post-punk band, Motion City Soundtrack.  Penultimate “Brakelines” brings the heat again, and the album ends with the pensive “Your Ghost Is Gone”, a slow burner which builds and builds until Pryor sings “You know that I can’t say goodbye” when the song erupts into a crescendo of piano, percussion, and guitar.  It’s a song which probably should switch places with “Brakelines” to keep the upbeat nature of the album on the bookends, but this criticism is a small banana in the grand scheme of an excellent album. 

The Get Up Kids have had enough time to dabble in side projects, take time away for families, and come back together with new found purpose and maturity that is solidly reflected on Problems. If Problems is any indicator, we are really going to enjoy going through middle age with this band. 

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet
Related Articles