The Get Up Kids, Something to Write Home About

TGUK-STWHA_10th_Album_ArtI’m sure it’s in one of those asimov books I read in 5th grade where a robot is convinced he’s human and a human asks him something like ‘how do you feel?’ the robot responds, ‘feel ..?… bleep…bleep …. feel… ‘ while his head spins around and smoke pours out of his head.

That’s how I’ve felt trying to nail down my feelings about this record. When I popped it in my cd player last weekend, it lasted for about 5 minutes. Maybe less. I thought: ’emo, emo emo.’ A week later, I played it for tk421 who said ‘it sounds like superchunk.’ I even played a track off indoor living by the ‘chunk and he had no idea I’d switched cds. this completely frustrated me, because I love superchunk. so I went to my resident emo expert, my girlfriend, to try to figure it all out.

She said a few things: ‘why do you have to analyze everything?’ and ‘I don’t think of things being in categories.’ She followed this up by saying she liked it but then ‘I like this kind of music.’
‘I thought you didn’t categorize things,’ I said.

Now she too was in double-speak.

As we listened to it we both agreed the first song, ‘Holiday,’ rocks. She liked the second song. The third song…ehh… there were a couple I just had to skip. Track 6, ‘Ten minutes,’ is another rocker. By the time we got to track 10 (out of twelve), though, she was asking me to turn it off.
We had a long discussion about what exactly emo is.. what makes a band emo? singing style, music, lyrics..? She remained irritated that i had to keep labeling it. So I asked, ‘is this emo?’


I think the deciding factor in why I don’t like this record is its lack of personality (this also justifies my love of Superchunk). Maybe the get up kids can muster the hyperactivity to drive through ‘Holiday,’ but I don’t give a crap about what this guy is saying. The lyrics are beyond cheesy (‘would you / be my/valentine’). If you’ve heard any emo at all, you won’t have to concentrate very hard to imagine how the singer stretches out ‘valentine’ to fit the preceding lines. What about this one: ‘constants/ aren’t so / constant any more?’ Did anyone else see that last line coming a mile away?

Emo is so colorless and unengaging, I can’t help but dismiss it. Why the get up kids have some sort of ‘underground’ cred is beyond me.

They’re a major label deal away from being third eye blind.