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The Get Up Kids

Get up, git git get down: The Get Up Kids outgrow their emo roots.

As the shelf life of pop confections shortens and our flash-cut attention span for artistic growth and progression shrinks, so has the number of acts able to break out of genre pigeonholes to establish an identity of their own.

It's too late for emo's stragglers who have seemingly been swallowed up in a backwash of warmed-over pop punk. Of course, the Get Up Kids had their eye on the door long before the culture cops closed the party down and opened a Hot Topic. Like fellow pioneering peers the Promise Ring, the Kids said their goodbyes two years ago with the release of On a Wire, eschewing the roaring guitars and minor chord lovesick elegies in favor of gentle, straightforward pop rock with a strong '60s influence.

Their latest, Guilt Show, continues to lean on the band's strengths -- big, chewy hooks, tight, crisply delivered arrangements and soaring backing harmonies -- while broadening the scope of their newfound pop predilections. If On a Wire was a stripped-down answer to years of loud guitars and touring, then Guilt Show is a fond backward glance at the punchy power chords that attempts to reconcile this long-held passion with rich, fleshy compositions. If not as immediately winning as the last album, it's certainly more sonically adventurous, which is essential if they're to avoid becoming a pop cultural artifact like mullets, leggings and kids in cardigans.


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