Friday, June 12, 2009

How Long Is Too Long?

I just found out that The Get Up Kids, one of my all-time favorite bands, have announced a tour that will include a stop in my hometown, Salt Lake City. After breaking up just as they seemed to be perfectly rounding into form, the band announced their intentions to reunite for a tour this year to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their great album, Something To Write Home About.

Even though they haven't made anything official, I have an inkling that they'll fully reunite and record another album before all is said and done. I have mixed feelings about this prospect. On one hand, they're the freaking Get Up Kids. How could this be bad in any way? On the other hand, it seems as if the groups' primary songwriter, Matt Pryor, has been in a bit of a slump the last few years. While still in The Get Up Kids, Matt released three good to great albums under his New Amsterdams moniker. After the official breakup of The Get Up Kids, Matt made the natural choice to focus his energy on The New Amsterdams full time.

Assembling a new band, he released three albums (including a double album) in two years. While the material he recorded that eventually made it's way onto Killed Or Cured was altogether spectacular, the subsequent releases, while occasionally brilliant, were frustrating as a whole. One great song would be followed by a clunker. While some of this can certainly be attributed to his backing band (particularly the lead guitarist, who seems to have taken a major cue from all that is wrong with the Nashville sound), there's no denying the majority of the songs lacked passion, and the albums lacked cohesion. With last summer's mediocre solo release, which mostly consisted of half-hearted acoustic songs, Matt seemed to have lost his passion for what he was doing.

Maybe I'm wrong; maybe the band is getting back together for nostalgic purposes, and have no intentions of doing anything after the tour. In a way, I hope they rock my face off at the show, and then never do anything together again. Part of me, though, hopes that this is what Matt needs in order to get back on track. The unique thing about The Get Up Kids is that they're one of the few bands (if not the only one)that defined my late teens and early 20's, that remain relevant to me. I can still listen to any of their albums (with the possible exception of their debut, Four Minute Mile), and get just as much out of it now as I would have when I was younger. My view of them remains unabashedly pure. I realize I run the risk of looking like the guy who still thinks Van Halen is the best band in the world. But much like him, I don't really care. My only hope right now is that these guys do nothing to tarnish my image of them.

How Long Is Too Long?

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