Saturday, January 28, 2017
The Get Up Kids Guilt Show Vagrant/Heroes & Villains/BMG 2004, 2016 Reissue
Man, so much to say about the final Get Up Kids album. First story that I have is that years ago, when I first started thinking I should start a vinyl blog based on local music I realized there were huge holes in my Get Up Kids collection. I had everything on CD at least and some scattered vinyl, but mostly everything I had was on CD. So, I called my friend in the band and asked if he had some stuff laying around and since I'm sure EVERYONE asks him the same, I offered to give up some choice LPs in exchange. He was agreeable and got what was available to him, even a member of the band doesn't have the ultra-rare limited stuff anymore. I got most of my holes filled, but asked, "Dude, where's Guilt Show?" The answer was he didn't have anymore, but gave me a CD copy. What's funny, as I was visiting another time and looking over records, there was multiple copies of this LP mixed into the collection. Basically, I don't think certain members of the band remember this one too fondly. If any of that is true (which it's probably not) I assume most of it would be from the fact they disbanded shortly after it's release.
It is a bit Matt Pryor heavy, the LP seems pretty focused around his type of tracks, introspective Superchunk-esque indie-pop. But, they are strong songs, although the energy could have been higher throughout the whole album. They don't have the teenage heartbreak and angst that early albums had, but, the band was older, full-fledged adults by this point. When you compare it to their 2002 album, On A Wire, it's certainly more of a Get Up Kids album, they ditched the roots rock and went back to their indie-rock roots, but found a lot of room for clever harmonies, clever lyrics, and jangly rhythms. It's not an album to be ashamed of, it's very enjoyable and easier to dance and shake to than On A Wire, was.
The other question is what would have happened if this came out in 2002 instead of On A Wire? It's difficult to say, but following the success of Something to Write Home About, the band was on the verge of something big, all they had to do was make Something to Write Home About Mach II and they may have become MTV indie darlings for a year or two. I don't sense a huge hit single here, but, it may have fit into 2002 better. And, had it been made following Something to Write Home About, it probably would have been a lot snappier. Either way, it would have been better received than On A Wire, fans would have been ready for this LP in 2002.
For what it is now, the first track, 'Man of Conviction' should be considered a Get Up Kid classic, equally as good as their most cherished songs. Next to last song, 'Is There A Way Out' is a deep cut by the group highlighting that these guys had soul and ideas that could have led to something amazing had they kept it together.
Man Of Conviction
Is There a Way Out