Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Get Up Kids Something To Write Home About Vagrant 1999

The Get Up Kids Something To Write Home About Doghouse/Vagrant/Heroes & Villians 1999 CAT #DOG 066

There's not much I can say about this album that hasn't already been discussed.  It was breakthrough album for the band.  It edged them ever so close to the mainstream by making it to the Billboard charts, putting them on tour with the likes of Weezer and Green Day, and the CD made it into the hands of countless high school students.  As time has gone on, it's proved to be a highly influential album.

Unfortunately, the highly influential part isn't such a good thing.  This album created a blue print for a number of bands.  All of which, became much more successful than the Get Up Kids.  Which is a shame, because Something to Write Home About is a solid album and the band deserves the same success.

To preface the dilemma, the Get Up's teenage aggression was replaced for pop hooks and keyboards on this LP.  It worked to great affect, there's even ballads on the LP - it's nice.  Much of the pop tendencies are owed to the addition of James Dewees on keyboards.  This is odd, because prior to joining the Get Up Kids, James Dewees was playing drums for Coalesce; a legitimate Heavy Metal band.  Regardless of his background, he's somewhat of a musical genius and folks around town were saying he "fixed" the Get Up Kids shortly after joining.  Rumor being that the band had come into a bit of writer's block, Dewees supposedly brought in a keyboard and started finding what was needed to finish the tunes.  There are great songs on the LP.  There are tunes that could be huge radio hits, it didn't happen, but the songs are there nonetheless.

But, man, the aftermath of this album.  Fall Out Boy is quoted as saying, "There would be no Fall Out Boy without the Get Up Kids."  And, sure, maybe people can call Fall Out Boy fun, cute, catchy or whatever.  But, there's a whole list of others,  Motion City Soundtrack, The Academy Is..., Say Anything, Taking Back Sunday, and many others that all suck.  Worst, these teen punk bands came to define the term "Emo" in relation to pop music.  The Get Up Kids seemed to be trying to escape the whiny confines of the underground Emo scene with this album.  They wanted something more than Sunny Day Real Estate fans putting them 2nd best, so they created a pop album.  These other bands, they just took the album as a blue print and wrote crappy pop-punk tunes with a few ballads thrown in so they could get laid on tour.  It's a shame.

A song about how Jim Suptic's girlfriend wouldn't drive 10 minutes to downtown to see him while at KCAI
Action & Action Video

No comments:

Post a Comment