The Get Up Kids
For those who have been swept up in The Get Up Kids’ recent, seemingly unstoppable momentum, a new album is welcome food for an insatiable indie-rock – or, dare we venture into the embarrassingly vague moniker, “emo” – hunger. And, much like any Get Up Kids album, Eudora has everything that’s expected of these Kansas boys: energy, soul, the familiar morose-but-passionate boy vocals and a careful balance between raw talent and studio comb-over. Yet, amongst the golden standards, there’s something crucial that’s missing from the mix, stranding this album in a category mismatched from its predecessors. Like a bag of bread opened one too many times, Eudora is stale with previously released material – to the tune of 16 out of its 17 songs. To boot, nearly 50% of these two-timers are covers, leaving Eudora as a representation of nothing in specific. These aren’t even the band’s greatest hits. If anything, the album would be more appropriately titled Greatest Hits of Everyone Else (And Maybe Some Get Up Kids, Too).
There is a promised new album in the near future for The Kids, which should sufficiently quench the growing hype and roaring scenesters. So, with something fresh on the horizon, why even make Eudora? It’s not a retrospective of the band’s career and it’s not a concept album, the former of which would be absurd considering The Get Up Kids are only a pinch over half a decade old. No, this album is just a bunch of stuff with no cohesiveness and no visible intent, a half-assed offering for the sake of filling a void. Considering this is one of Vagrant Records’ largest acts, its lack of meaning all but virtually screams “profit margin.”
This isn’t to say that the compilation album is worthless. Indeed, the old songs are still good and covers are solid, even if most of them aren’t performed with any fresh interpretation. Yet, for anyone who owns the band’s previous material, this album has nothing special. Even their version of David Bowie’s “Suffragette City,” the only previously unreleased track on the album, seems too close to its origins to be worth the trouble. Releasing a cover of, say, The Cure’s “Close To Me” or Mötley Crüe’s “On With the Show” is fine once. But, twice?
Aside from the tour-de-homage, Eudora is full of B-sides and alternate versions of older Get Up Kids tunes like “Ten Minutes,” and feels like an unabashed confession from the band that their creative well has dried up. Whether it has or not is a judgement that fans may just have to make when the actual new ñ as in, new material – album comes out. Eudora is a nice tip to the band’s (and the rest of the music world’s) past, but its lack of direction is hardly a promise for their future. The Get Up Kids have made good music, and this album casts no doubt upon it – but resting on their laurels didn’t get them to where they are now, and it most certainly won’t take them anywhere else.
The Get Up Kids: http://www.thegetupkids.net