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neumu
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 
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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive



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The Get Up Kids
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On A Wire
Vagrant
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Now Eudora, the Get Up Kids' late-2001 release of their demos, covers, and rarities collection, makes sense. They were simply following rock rule 7(g), which states, "When your band is about to embark on a major stylistic shift that will leave most old-time fans feeling let down, clear out the vaults and release a compilation album." In doing so, however, they violated rock rule 9(j) — you know, the one about how bands that are part of a "movement" should stick to the formula in case the mainstream media pick up on it.

In the Kids' case, that movement is emo, which no band admits to being part of but every indie record store clerk is quick to mention. "Hard-driving but heartfelt" or "energetic but emotional" might be the best way to describe emo, though the genre encompasses bands as varied as Fugazi, Sunny Day Real Estate, Samiam, and the Promise Ring. Think sensitive yet scorching, boyish yet blistering...stop me before I throw any more bad PR-speak around.

So, on to On a Wire, the third full-length album from Kansas City, Mo.'s Get Up Kids: Singer/guitarist Matt Pryor, guitartist/singer Jim Suptic, keyboardist/singer James Dewees, bassist Robert Pope and his brother, drummer Ryan Pope. It's a fairly diverse release that strays significantly from their previous work — and, under the tutelage of former R.E.M. producer Scott Litt, it sounds like the band's grab for the gold ring of popular success, emo tag be damned. Building on the mellower sound of singer Matt Pryor's New Amsterdams side project, On a Wire's 12 songs mostly rely on acoustic guitar, quiet vocals, and a fairly subdued rhythm section — stuff that wouldn't sound too out of place on the radio next to Sheryl Crow and the Goo Goo Dolls.

Lead track "Overdue" serves as a sort of bridge between the Kids' emo past and their mainstream-oriented present — brisk strumming and Pryor's quiet, confessional voice draw the listener in, then give way to brushed drumming and a chiming, almost country-ish lead guitar reminiscent of, say, a Chris Isaak song. Stranger still is "Let the Reigns [sic] Go Loose," which continues the quietude but adds in a '50s-ish bridge with layered vocals and a concluding piano lifted from the Go-Go's "Head Over Heels." Elsewhere, "All That I Know" gently sways like a Sugar Ray (ick!) song, the icy keyboards and tremolo-heavy lead guitar of "Walking on a Wire" conjure up memories of the music from "Miami Vice," and "The Worst Idea" shows that Inspiral Carpets and their Hammond organ legacy lives on.

Growing up on record doesn't have to result in derivative, uninteresting music that turns off your fan base. Contrast, say, Hüsker Dü's compelling mellowing on Candy Apple Grey with the just-plain-boring final two albums by The Replacements. Unfortunately, the Get Up Kids' move is much closer to the latter than the former. While its rampant eclecticism shows that the Kids clearly want to move beyond the emo tag, their new pop direction finds them drifting about, directionless as opposed to eclectic. I'm not ready to write the Get Up Kids off, but On a Wire is a big letdown.


by Steve Gozdecki




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