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Reviews and Suggestions

The Grown-Up Kids: Get Up Kids Turn Comeback Kids with “There Are Rules”

Where were The Get Up Kids at the start of the millennium?  As a listener coming at their latest record, I heard a mash-up of sounds one wouldn’t immediately associate with the band – electro, funk and post-punk are some that spring to mind. Graphically speaking, the cover is sophisticated. The image on the front of the LP is of a woman holding a mirror to her face, where the mirror reflects the ocean to the viewer: a Lacanian articulation of femininity and its evolving self-reflexivity through the play of the gaze. The viewer gazes at the woman, who in return gazes into open space and vast water.

The Get Up Kids came onto the scene in the ’90s wake of Pavement, Weezer and Green Day. After splitting up in 2005, the band reassembled and began touring extensively throughout most of 2008 and 2009, developing an underground community with other bands such as Rocket Fuel is the Key, Coalesce and Braid. Their latest record, There Are Rules, is a departure from Vagrant Records – the album was released on their own label at Quality Hill Records. Mixed by Bob Weston and produced by Ed Rose, the sound retains the band’s early nineties garage aesthetic while adding the liberties of technological editing. When the Get Up Kids graced the ’90s, critics initially referred to them as an “emo band” however, the kids have fought with such branding since their inception. While they were influential to the Midwest emo movement of the early ’90s, they play with genre more than they identify with it.

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Features

Nine Questions With Winnipeg’s Comeback Kid

When you hear hardcore music, such as that which Comeback Kid makes, it can be easy to assume that the members of the band are anti-sentimentalists dressed in black, but don’t let impressions fool you. After meeting with Andrew Neufeld, lead singer of Comeback Kid, I quickly realized that the band is made up of five sensitive guys. Having arrived early for my interview with Andrew, I was lucky enough to hear the band during their soundcheck and as soon as I heard him scream out loud, I understood why critics have been giving such good reviews to the band’s new album, “Symptoms and Cures.”  Touring has become part of the members’ lifestyles – in fact, the band is fully booked until next spring – and they have brought three other bands with them on this tour. Here’s a summary of my time with Andrew, during which he explained that making hardcore music is the way in which he can best express himself …

Q: This is your fourth album and many reviewers have qualified it as the best so far, especially for the lyrics – How does that make you feel and was it hard to write the lyrics for this record?

A: We are stoked that people think it is the best. As for the lyrics, writing them is the hardest part for me.