The Get Up Kids
The Get Up Kids are one of those indie bands that tours nearly relentlessly, only pausing once in awhile to record a new EP or full-length. After their last release, Four Minute Mile, they were apparently tempted with major-label offers to record, but decided to stick things out on a smaller label. As an emo rock band with a bit of punk injection, they'd no doubt heard the words "sell out" one too many times to jump up and possibly become one themselves.
The interesting thing about this disc is that although they did decide to stick with a smaller label, their sound has somewhat changed since their last album to more radio-friendly one. Sure, they still write very catchy (a word that manages to slip into nearly every review written about the group) songs, but Something To Write Home About just doesn't have the same spunk as their last full-length.
The album starts off in fairly typical style with the song "Holiday." With a flailing barrage of guitars and a punchy opening, the track never lets up and in addition to their usual lineup, they've added some keyboard sounds that are never very intrusive, but add a few different tones once in awhile. On "Action & Action," they keep things going pretty well, but soon things drop off into ballad-mode with "Valentine." It's a nice little quiet track, but it's a little bit too tame. The problem after that song is that the album doesn't really pick up again until several tracks later with "10 Minutes." It's a great pop-punk number that bounces along with jaunty guitars and dual vocals.
After two more quieter tracks, the disc goes into their big track "I'm A Loner Dottie...A Rebel." Although it's already been featured on a previous EP and on the Post Marked Stamps compilation, they re-work it and include it yet again. It's been slowed-down ever so slightly and a keyboard has been added, but the track still has all the qualities that should have made it one of the biggest songs last summer. It's poppy, but it destoys anything you can hear on mainstream radio. The album closes out with yet two more mellow tracks and one snappy track in the middle of them called "Close To Home."
Basically, it's sort of a hit-or-miss album for the group. Whereas their past effort was more fast paced with very few quiet moments in-between, Something To Write Home About is a slower disc with a few tracks to pick it up. If you're a fan of the group, it may be a little dissapointing to hear the change, and unfortunately the slower tracks don't much of anything different than any other emo bands slow songs. There are still some good tracks, but the rest sounds like typical mix tape fodder for when you've screwed things up with your significant other.