The Get Up Kids – Problems

After an eight-year wait, we finally have another Get Up Kids album. If you’re wanting to listen to something when you’re in the mood of ‘I want to complain a little bit about life but still get up and get on with my day’ then Problems is the album to listen to. The band huddled together in Connecticut, along with producer Peter Katis (The National, Kurt Vile), to create something classic, but allowing their maturity to shine through. There’s nothing pretty about ‘older’ people trying to act 20 years younger than what they are, and the band have embraced their age and experience to produce a classic album, but with an extra dash of wisdom. 

The album begins with one of the singles already released “Satellite”, and I think it was a really great song to start the album with. It has a welcoming beginning of acoustic guitar and vocals that you can tell is about to drive into a punchy rest of the song. It excites you that there is so much more to come within the album. 

The band has definitely moved towards a pop sounding album, most songs exhibit catchy melodies and keep intact the early 2000’s indie/emo/punk vibe. Almost like something I would have listened to when I was in my early teens (ahh the ‘no one understands me’ memories). This is well defined in their song “The Problem is Me”. The keyboard is more prominent and indeed it is quite the catchy song. 

“Fairweather Friends” was a stand out on the album. The drums are at the forefront of this one. It gets your heart going and if it was a live gig, you would be jumping along! A faster tempo and a chirpy tune, with a nice little guitar solo towards the end. It showcases the whole band and whether or not it is intending to, it makes you happy. 

It would be incredibly rude not to mention the final song on the album. “Your Ghost is Gone” is so haunting and so emotional. You can’t help but feel immense sadness and empathy once you know the ballad was written by band member James Dewees after his mother passed away. “I can’t throw away the last pieces of you because if I do you’ll really be gone” are the lyrics that end the song and the album, and it is definitely a memorable finale. 

The songs produced on Problems follows a stable structure. They all have a very strong hook to begin with, a catchy chorus, but at times feels as though interest is fading towards the end of some of the songs. Besides “Your Ghost is Gone”, they are all relatively similarly structured; you can predict where the song is heading. Nonetheless, it is great to see a band that has been around for so long still produce solid songs. 

(Polyvinyl Records)