The Get Up Kids, 'There Are Rules' (Quality Hill)

There Are Rules
Critical Mass
Release Date: January 25, 2010
Label: Quality Hill

by David Menconi

These emo pioneers take the classic get-back route on this reunion effort (their first album since 2004), invoking the band's definitive period by enlisting Shellac's Bob Weston, who recorded 1997 debut Four Minute Mile, and longtime producer Ed Rose. Early-days, loud-fast angst prevails, although with more keyboard atmosphere than you might recall -- especially the slinky '80s synth-pop pulse of "Shatter Your Lungs." Matthew Pryor's bellowing sneer still cuts, but nothing can cover up the hookless, by-the-numbers weakness of the material. There Are Rules doesn't contain a single tune that lingers afterward.

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