The Get Up Kids
Kicker
Jun 8, 2018

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The Get Up Kids are a band that grew up in public. Since forming in Kansas City in 1995, they’ve established themselves as a group whose music withstands trends and transcends the superficial in favor of something that stands the test of time.

The four-song Kicker EP -- the band's Polyvinyl Record Co. debut -- is the newest addition to their catalog of influential EPs (such as 1997's Woodson and 1999's Red Letter Day), as well as their first new release since 2011’s LP There Are Rules.

Since that album came out the band have been touring when their schedules permits and living very adult lives that include activities like raising kids (Matt, Rob, Jim), moving away (James) and moving back (Ryan), starting businesses (Ryan), getting a degree in geology (Jim), joining a local kickball league (Matt), accidentally being electrocuted on stage (Rob), or simply struggling with social media.

Correspondingly while the band’s early releases were written while the band members were entering their twenties, Kicker sees them in their forties, and the songs show a perspective that can only be learned from experience.

The Get Up Kids have never been afraid to try something new, but the songs here -- recorded over the course of the last year at Fire and Ice studio in Baldwin, Kansas -- mark a full-circle breakthrough for the band.

Upbeat opener “Maybe” reintroduces The Get Up Kids in spectacular fashion with fuzzed-out guitars, chiming keyboards, and Pryor's distinctive cadence singing about the relational dynamics he's learned over time. “I'm Sorry,” one of guitarist/vocalist Jim Suptic’s contributions to Kicker, sees him looking back on the past two years, trying to be a better person and finding resolve in the fact that “out of all the lessons I've learned, giving up is to get burned.”

Pryor reflects, “A lot of the songs early in our career were written in the perspective of being young and being in relationships and what we were going through then,” adding, “This is still a slice of life of what the band is going through now.” That dichotomy of learning from the past while reaching toward the future lies at the core of Kicker, and sees the band retaining their signature sound while simultaneously proving they aren’t afraid to redefine who they are in the current moment.

The name of the EP is a reference to their foosball obsession — which dates back to their first European tour and is still played in their current practice space — but also serves to sum up the overarching concept of these four songs. “You always look back in rose colored glasses, and I always remember when this band was really struggling and we were selling our CD collections to pay our rent and that sucked at the time, but looking back that was an amazing time, that was so much fun. There was no pressure or anything,” explains Suptic.

Kicker retains that carefree idealism -- capturing the fresh urgency of their most revered releases -- while proving that their journey is still unfolding. The Get Up Kids may have grown up but they haven’t become jaded.

Songs

  • 1
    Maybe (3:12)
  • 2
    Better This Way (3:02)
  • 3
    I'm Sorry (3:11)
  • 4
    My Own Reflection (3:34)

Reviews

"the most satisfying Get Up Kids release in nearly 20 years.”

Pitchfork

"It's a proper statement of reemergence from one of the most enduring bands to emerge of the early-aughts rock club scene."

SPIN

"Kicker is comprised of four songs only, but they pack a wallop."

Uproxx

"Kicker is, quintessentially, a classic Get Up Kids record, brimming with the urgency and drive of youth, but coloured by twenty years of experience. It’s also another pitch-perfect EP and one that could take things full circle for a band that continues to evolve."

Upset Magazine

“It’s hard to deny that the band is still as good at this as it ever was."

Magnet Magazine

"At just four songs, Kicker only feels like a taste of where TGUK are at right now and it leaves you wanting more. And if they do in fact have a full-length in the works, Kicker makes that full-length look very promising."

Brooklyn Vegan

"Kicker is a triumphant return to form for The Get Up Kids."

Punknews

"The four-song project is setting new, grown-up concerns about marriage and family life to the kind of upbeat and melodically assured guitar music that they’ve always been known for."

The FADER

"Songs like “Maybe” and “I’m Sorry” express regret over bad choices and paths not pursued, but there’s no sense of resignation in the lyrics or guitar licks. The Moog accents are now fist pumps, and the chanting choruses edge close to stadium rock."

AV Club

"Loud and earnest, the ultra-catchy track barrels towards an anthemic, cathartic chorus that pairs wonderfully with Shawn Brackbill’s video, which rides the fine line of vibrant yearning and cheeky humor the band’s long navigated."

Consequence of Sound on "Better This Way"

"“Maybe” is like candy for anyone who’s ever loved this genre—a loud, pounding anthem with all the biting spirit of the band’s best work."

Magnet Magazine on "Maybe"

"It’s a ripper that hearkens right back to the Four Minute Mile/Something to Write Home About era."

Brooklyn Vegan on "Maybe"

"an electric earworm"

The FADER on "Better This Way"

"The EP hearkens back to the youthful energy of the band's early releases"

Consequence of Sound

"“Maybe” is a true pop gem. The raw and powerful emotional content of Matt Pryor’s voice is a welcome reminder of why he’s one of the best vocalists in emo."

Punknews
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Videos

  • Maybe (3:11)
  • Better This Way (3:19)
    Shawn Brackbill
  • I'm Sorry (3:23)
    Shawn Brackbill

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