Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course).
Missouri's The Get-Up Kids came on the scene with an appealing pop sense slathered with rawness. As I stated in my Promise Ring feature, I'll forever regard them as part of the Holy Trinity of Emo. After 4 memorable albums, they broke up in 2005.
Bonus: While researching this piece, I learned that bassist Rob Pope is now in Spoon!
1. Woodson (from Woodson EP, 1996)
Noisy guitar soundtrack for your miniature mental breakdowns. Matthew Pryor shows off his knack for memorably tortured lines: "You build me up / And break me down again / And I take it."
2. No Love (from Four Minute Mile, 1997)
At this point the band were like a cool little drawing you made while daydreaming. The lyrics are pure emo, lamenting a relationship that can never be: "If I came home one last time / Think of what the two of us could do / I guess we'll never know."
3. Shorty (from Four Minute Mile, 1997)
I saw this band about 5 times during their career, and this one never failed to garner a collectively-wonderful crowd reaction. Imagine 200 sweaty hipster kids bobbing their heads in rhythm and you'll get the idea.
4. One Year Later (from Red Letter Day EP, 1999)
I have to tell you that I was verrrry close to including all 5 songs from this EP. I wore that sucker out! This one has to be the first song they play at the inevitable reunion show.
5. Red Letter Day (from Red Letter Day EP, 1999)
This is about the point where Pryor's lyrics began to become more puzzling. They were clearly ABOUT something, but it wasn't as easy as girl-I-love-you or girl-I-love-you-but-you-don't-love me.
6. I'm A Loner Dottie, I'm A Rebel (from Something To Write Home About, 1999)
One of the best titles ever. I never noticed this until now, but Pryor's singing voice sounds a little bit like Pee Wee Herman's speaking voice on this one. Coincidence?
7. Ten Minutes (from Something To Write Home About, 1999)
The best song from their best album? I love the line, "It's like you're fallin' in love while I just fall apart."
8. Up On The Roof (from Eudora, 2001)
The Kids got some shit for adding keyboard James Dewees to their permanent line-up, but the results showcased here make it hard to knock.
9. Overdue (from On A Wire, 2002)
The Kids got more shit for going acoustic on On A Wire, but you'd have to have a block of ice for a heart not to be affected by this tearjerker.
10. Hannah Hold On (from On A Wire, 2002)
Another beauty, but you can see why some fans cried foul. Really, at this point what was the difference between The Get-Up Kids and Pryor's side project The New Amsterdams?
11. How Long Is Too Long (from Guilt Show, 2004)
12. Sympathy (from Guilt Show, 2004)
The boys successfully married their punk and acoustic sides on their final album, which makes it that much sadder that their break-up came so soon after. These two songs are polished and charming and show what might have been.