We’re going back. Way back…to the year…2002.
Do you remember where you were when The Get Up Kids released On a Wire? Neither do I. I did buy it sometime soon after, however, and enjoyed it; surprised at the signs of maturity that (occasionally) cut through the band’s noted triviality. The Kids actually devoted time to textures and arrangements and attempted, at least, a different side of a band always seen as expendable.
Guilt Show, unfortunately, isn’t about remorse over the band’s pre-Wire material. What’s worse, they erase any progress made with their last album and pander once again to mall-punks everywhere. The Get Up Kids offered acceptance with On a Wire that the short-lived explosion of mall-emo was over and the band were ready to move on with the rest of the music world. Two years later, however, isn’t enough time to dig Saves the Day and the rest of the gang up for a retrospective; and what’s more, who fucking cares that The Get Up Kids “infuse their brand of punk with new-wave progressions and a greater emphasis on the keyboard.” This shit doesn’t work.
Particularly offending are “Is There a Way Out” and “Conversation,” the album’s last two tracks. It’s bad enough that the first 11 tracks are of the hardly-passable pop-punk variety. That the last two are “epic” in nature (and trust me, “epic” is used loosely) is laughable.
The Bush administration may be out of work come November. What’s getting lost in the shuffle is that while Bush blew hot air over the literacy rate and insufficient schooling, Dubya failed to rid the 2004 landscape of such an obvious threat to the intelligence of our nation’s children. Avoid Guilt Show like the plague.