With their first album since 2011, the Get Up Kids are back with Problems. It’s a twelve-song album that’s a ton of fun from start to finish proving that the Kansas City band can take long breaks and not skip a beat. Frontman Matt Pryor still sings with needy type of a charisma that’s addictive as hell. The guitar work isn’t just great, it’s amazing. The Get Up Kids’ Jim Suptic is one of his era’s greatest guitarists and he’s still playing extremely well.
The Get Up Kids’ sound had changed dramatically over the years. When There Are Rules was released the band’s, sound changed enough to where their emo/punk roots weren’t as close to as dominant as they were in the band’s sound when they first started. On that album, and on this one, The Get Up Kids sound closer to The Hold Steady than to Taking Back Sunday.
With Problems, The Get Up Kids are big on distortion, that comes back to that whole Hold Steady thing. Distorted vocals and overdriven guitars are a big part of the regular sound across this album, and that’s all part of what makes this record so much fun to listen to. Pryor’s vocal is a large factor of the allure of the record, and Suptic’s guitars are great despite having only one good guitar solo, but the production on this record is what gives it so much personality. Every song links to the next one but they all manage to sound like they’re doing something different. With everybody using the same equipment and software when recording now, it’s rare to find an album with its own kind of personality but Problems manages to do that. That alone makes this worth listening to, but it’s The Get Up Kids and that makes it a special release.