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gukreissue.jpgThe Get Up Kids are from a simpler time, a better time. A time where “emo” conjured images of black rimmed glasses, argyle sweater vests and Chuck Taylors. Now, I hear “emo” and I get any number of bastard-demon-child subgenres, each more foul than the next. Between the skin tight black pants, the array of stupid looking facial piercings and splotchy hair dye jobs on even worse haircuts, I don’t know what to hate first. And don’t even get me started on the music that gets passed off for “emo” these days.

No, back when singers sang and guitarists didn’t look like they were taking a shit onstage, bands brought forth the masses, masses who actually looked like they enjoyed themselves. I’m serious! There was smiling and everything!

I have a confession to make: I used to be a metal head. But worse yet, I was a metal head into OzzFest metal. The big names like Pantera and Slayer. The mid-names like Fear Factory and Coal Chamber and the no-names like Reveille and…whoever. It was indie music that changed my life forever and led your humble Emperor here to start Racket those fateful years ago.

While it came out in 1999, it wasn’t until 2000 that I heard The Get Up Kids’ seminal work Something to Write Home About. I was still being eased into music that didn’t sound like it was yelling at me, and the Kansas City, MO quintet was as comforting as Del Taco’s Macho Nachos when you are really messed up.

Songs that are at times as reminiscent as they are vicious, the Get Up Kids showed me there was another path. Plus, they had robots on the cover, how could I not be down with them.

Now, it’s 2009, and Hot Topic licks it’s collective lips at what new shitty subgenre Warped Tour is tugging along this summer and lo and behold, Vagrant Records comes to save the day with a re-release of Something to Write Home About. But, it’s not just a simple re-mastered piece of crap. Nay, this bad boy has a whole other disc, a DVD even! Now, while the DVD starts off a bit montage-y, it soon kicks into “Holiday” at a hometown show. While I’ve seen better live DVDs, it’s good to see a band that, in industry years, is ancient not resorting to gimmicks and gadgets to get them through their set. The DVD stands out more than others because it is a live performance of the entire damned album straight through, which is a nice little bonus. There’s also 7 downloadable bonus tracks, which I have yet to figure out how to get. Store brand gin and tonics will make the most tech savvy of nerds forget how to find Facebook, so don’t judge me.

While there has been a plethora of side projects, a break up and all the other stuff that goes hand in hand with over a decade in a band, The Get Up Kids have gotten their shit together yet again for a cross-country trek to support the new release and you bet your ass you’ll find me at one of the dates!

–Jonathan Yost