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CD review: The Get Up Kids ‘There Are Rules’

It’s their first CD in seven years, but it was well worth the wait

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Annie Zaleski

The Details

The Get Up Kids
There Are Rules
Four stars

The key to enjoying There Are Rules, The Get Up Kids’ first album in seven years: Realize that the Kansas City band has matured—and evolved—beyond the sensitive emo-rock of its heyday. Rules’ highlights revolve around futuristic keyboard-pop, from the robo-soul of the funky “Shatter Your Lung” to the XTCish jitterbug “Automatic” and the atmospheric new-wave dirge “Rally ’Round the Fool.” The album’s rock-oriented songs exhibit similar creative growth. The distortion-fueled “Birmingham” maintains the wired energy of early albums, but flashes a sneering electro-punk edge, while the drilling guitars and muffled vocals driving the indie-crunch “Keith Case” create delicious tension. Many groups who came of age with The Get Up Kids couldn’t (or still can’t) move beyond the thin topics of lovelorn angst or pained loneliness. But Rules proves a little inspiration goes a long way when it comes to helping bands age gracefully.

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