Ever since The Get Up Kids returned we’ve gotten to see them grow as a band while expanding their sound. Stripping away a lot of the emo trappings of their past, the band has soldiered on with a new path closer to traditional indie rock while holding on to some of the pieces that made them so popular. On their latest full length Problems, the band takes those indie rock nuances further while keeping your head bopping the whole way through.
The upbeat nature of the opener “Satellite” takes the emo pacing with all of the indie rock energy you’d expect from a band doing the same that just got their start. However, there’s a better songwriting ability displayed here that’s head and shoulder above their previous full lengths. While the catchy and happy-go-lucky sounds of “The Problem Is Me” will please any fan, its the newer sonic sounds of “Salina” that stand alone. The track almost sounds like a new band, though it doesn’t steal the album’s energy either. This is a band growing, and the new structuring of the track signals new life in a band that’s ready to take things to a new place.
This occurs several more times throughout the release. The shadowy and completely reformatted notes of “Common Ground” gives fans something new to hold on to. The synth placement on “Common Ground” mixed with chip tune drums doesn’t read like something The Get Up Kids would do yet they pull it off better than you’d think and give you another new sound to chew on. Alongside the dark piano driven notes that open up “The Advocate,” this is definitely a band trying new things. Of course, the traditional sounds the band employed twenty years ago are still here. “Now Or Never” has the touches of a track from Something To Write Home About, “Fairweather Friends” has the upbeat pace of a song from Four Minute Mile and “Brakelines” could have come from either The Guilt Show or from On A Wire-yet it doesn’t feel like a hold over either. Problems is a mix of the future fueled by the past without ever sounding like anything rehashed while The Get Up Kids lay the ground for being a reunited band in the modern world.
Problems is available to stream on all streaming sites, it can be purchased digitally from all online music stores or it can be purchased physically directly from Polyvinyl Records. The Get Up Kids are on tour tonight in Bologna, Italy at Locomotiv Club until October 10 in Shinsaibashi, Japan at Club Quattro. A complete listing of their tour dates can be found here.
Image Credits: Photo by Shawn Brackbill.