Home Read Classic Album Review: The Get Up Kids | On a Wire

Classic Album Review: The Get Up Kids | On a Wire

The Kansas City emo outfit grow up on their subdued and self-assured third album.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


What the hell is going on in emo these days?

First, Jimmy Eat World tunneled all the way from the underground to the Top 10 with Bleed American. Then The Promise Ring got all mellow on Wood/Water. Now, the latest defectors from the faith are Kansas City’s Get Up Kids, who sound like grown-ups on their subdued and self-assured third album On A Wire. These 12 tracks find the eight-year-old quintet exchanging their anxious, jittery sound for more gentle melodies, moods and momentum — the drums slow down, the guitars ease up and the arrangements stretch out to let these pop-based songs (and their sincere lyrics) breathe and resonate to the fullest. The gambit pays off handsomely, from the acoustic melancholy of Overdue to the ragged troubadourism of Campfire Kansas to the crunching plod-rawk of Grunge Pig. None of them can be classified as emo — though nearly all qualify as some of the band’s most potent and entrancing work to date.