The Get Up Kids - On A Wire (Cover Artwork)

The Get Up Kids

The Get Up Kids: On A WireOn A Wire (2002)
Vagrant Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: ShawnShawn
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In 1997, Get Up Kids released Four Minute Mile under Doghouse Records. Still considered part of the "underground scene," Four Minute Mile managed to catch the attention of my older sister's friends, and through such, mine as well. I was 13 years old and witnessing my first experience of the.
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In 1997, Get Up Kids released Four Minute Mile under Doghouse Records. Still considered part of the "underground scene," Four Minute Mile managed to catch the attention of my older sister's friends, and through such, mine as well. I was 13 years old and witnessing my first experience of the Get Up Kids. Status: Instantly Hooked. Constantly battling my sister for the cd, it hardly ever left my cd player, and being the immature brat that I was, I was hardly sorry when she finally broke down and bought me my own copy, at the same time she bought me Something To Write Home About, in 1999.

As we all know, Something To Write Home About is on par if not one of the most innovative "emo" (nasty labels..) albums released in our time. And being 15 years old, hormones roaring, and girls being the nasty creatures that they are, I was in awe at the blatant relation that every song had given to me. Even today, 3 years later, I look back and still find myself finding new meanings to every song, and simply wanting to shake the hands of each member of Get Up Kids for making such a fine album. The benevolent, relentless sound of constant sympathetic earnings in response to failed relationships, frustrations with social problems, and much more, Something To Write Home About was an album that got me through my freshman year in high school.

So where does that leave The Get Up Kids? After years of touring, they're forced to look back at what they have accomplished and where life has taken them. Three have been married, one with child, and well... they're simply not 21 anymore. Scenario: A Band needs to make an album, derive it from the deepest aspects of their intuition, create the pinnacle of their musical abilities, and hopefully in the long run produce the finest album they can. And, in my opinion, this is EXACTLY what they did. Making major sound changes, The Get Up Kids decided to take a considerable risk and abandon their former "emo" roots and dwell deeper into their musical inspirations. In consequence, we have On A Wire. Given, after a first listen, most faithful Get Up Kids fans, myself included, will sit their and simply wonder exactly what the hell happened here. Much more mellow, less rough, and...is that an organ? But after a week of listening, I have come to like On A Wire even moreso than Something To Write Home About.

The album opens with 'Overdue,' an acoustic masterpiece obviously in regard to a certain someone in his past who left him/left him behind and wants reconciliation. Next comes 'Stay Gone,' probably the closest you're going to get to former GUKs in terms of sound, as it contains a fast rhythm and Matt's familiar singing style. Continuing, probably my favorite song, 'Let The Reigns Go Loose,' is where the album starts to take respects to past inspirations. And continues on to the very "groovy-styled" 'All That I know.' Along the way in the album comes 'Campfire Kansas,' probably the best live song on the album (and yes, they did a great job with this song in houston), and the closer, 'Hannah Hold On;' without a doubt the song that stabs your right in the heart above any other that Get Up Kids have written.

To put it simply, yes, people are going to complain about the new sound. Phrases such as "selling out," "over-produced," and "sucks" will pop up. But such people need to acknowledge that there is more to music than labels and scenes. People's musical agendas change, and if you can't see the benefits and how well Get Up Kids have taken such a change, then by all means, mail your copy to me and I'll be sure to distribute it accordingly.


People who liked this also liked:
Hot Water Music - No DivisionThe Get Up Kids - Guilt ShowThe Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home AboutThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Alkaline Trio - Maybe I'll Catch FireJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeHot Water Music - Fuel For The Hate Game

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (January 4, 2004)

Do you know whats really cool! i live on a tiny island near Scotland called the Isle Of Lewis and everyone i ask says they have never heard of the get up kids so im beginning to think that im the only one on this damn island who knows them! Kinda makes me unique but im not really!

Belve (August 24, 2002)

Great album shows the band maturing

Anonymous (July 7, 2002)

So, they didn't regurgitate another Something To Write Home About. Boo hoo. This album is much more inspired than anything else they have done.

JOE_MOMMA (June 11, 2002)



Anonymous (June 7, 2002)

listen buddy im from kc mo and i know the getupkids personally they are all cool guys especially james but lets face facts when you set around for three years and smoke pot and read magazines you you get this cd its horrible i can understand changing things up a little but come on this crap play rock not alt country leave that up to ryan adams. the getup kids need to stick to what made them amazing not to what made them horrible

tgarn (June 5, 2002)

I dont think guk are overrated at all, and this cd is awesome. Weezer is far from overrated. And I love when people add in dumb little comments about how they have met everyone or know everyone. We're all real impressed you met Weezer, but does that have anything to do with the guk new album?

Anonymous (June 4, 2002)

wow. just read the last post. isnt this about the get up kids new album. calm down everyone. but kick ass original review. the cd does basically blow, unless u like the new amsterdams, or the GUK slow boring stuff. skip it, their the most overrated band going right now, next to maybe weezer (who used to really kick ass, got to meet them in 96 on the pinkerton club tour.)

Anonymous (June 4, 2002)

TO: ludacris "i am african american you dicknose. thanx for assuming that only white people would be on this site. racist." i didn't assume but what do you expect when i read a comment like that. I'm mexican and puerto rican and i am not white but i consider myself human. nevertheless, i just addressed an issue. Racism is still around nowadays, and you and i should know this(we are minorities)so when i ever see a racist comment; i am quick to address. I am sorry i didn't know you were African American, but it doesn't give you a right to say crude comments about your culture even if it is a joke; nobody should be given a right a to say a bale racist comment but it is sad that society has given that right. However, you can't justify your actions by calling me racist, but remember you did the racist remarks i address the issue. I have a lot of respect for all cultures and i dont joke about that. For Example I would never write " F!@# all the mexicans" i can not bring myself to do that even as a joke(why do you think i didnt spell out the f-word). i respect the diversity too much. This is my view, Ludacris, again i sorry if i made you fell bad,but i am not sorry for post my previous comment.

BROken fence www.heygeorgieboy03@yahoo.com

Anonymous (June 3, 2002)

i'm surprised so many people liked this album, i'm a guk fan, it's decent but i don't think it holds a candle to something home to write about. new style is ok to mellow out to, but i miss the rockin' out.

Anonymous (June 3, 2002)

Shit. Period. It might be good for 14 year old girls, but any creature with testicles that listens to this crap has some serious masculinity issues!

Anonymous (June 3, 2002)

something to write home about as innovative? it just sounded like a cheap knockoff of jimmy eat world's "clarity" to me

Anonymous (June 2, 2002)

great review man. i totally agree....its a new direction but it really works and is amazing - tom

ludacris (June 2, 2002)

Buddyhead went out of business, what do they know.

dropkickjames14 (June 2, 2002)

Cheers to that guy who said "fuck you" to all you losers who try and sound smart in here... Goddamn pussies

i'm not judging this album by the g. U. K's other albums... I'm judging purely on its own.... And my conclusion...... This album truley sux balls..... The only good song is overdew.... Im not the biggest g. U. K's fan or thier worst enemy... But this album is truley horrible.. They tried leavin the pop-emo behind, just like the anniversary and promise ring... And have failed miserably..... Buddyhead was right about them....

Anonymous (June 1, 2002)

A lack of intuition? Lol...it's all about the "big" words to make you feel indimidating. You wish 15 year olds would be your friend, cause at least then you wouldn't have to sit at home beating the meatstick all night.

Sicarius (June 1, 2002)

What? No medal? You won't be my friend? Well hot damn, I guess I lost teh respect for another immature 15 year with a lack of intuition.

Anonymous (June 1, 2002)

Sicarius, get off your fucking high horse and quit trying to run this town. People can say whatever the fuck they want. Here's my review:


Not constructive enough, well then, fuck you too. In my opinion, the people are constantly in here trying to be the good guys by ragging on all the trollers are just as bad as the trollers themselves. You're not making any friends here by bitching about "constructive criticism", there's no medal waiting for you at the end of the hall.

Anonymous (June 1, 2002)

This CD is better than anything the GUK have ever done. Overdue is the best song that I have heard in years. Finally someone writes a decent review of the CD (and oh yeah - I hate 4MM era GUK)

Anonymous (May 31, 2002)

Gee thanks. I feel special for being the example.


Sicarius (May 31, 2002)

See, that post below mine is constructive critism. Take notes kiddies.

Anonymous (May 31, 2002)

If they didn't want us to comment on the reviews, the "comment" option would be disabled.

How about you shut up and let others have their say.

Not everyone is going to like a record.

I personally feel this album is a bit to ...soft. It's not that I dislike quieter material, it's just that this seems to be more of a Counting Crows move than a "new style."

Their is an entire style of music known as Alt. Country or Americana. That is exactly what this album is. If this is what people who enjoy the Get Up Kids want to hear, then I really think there are better examples of this style.

Please go out and find Cd's by Son Volt, Wilco, Whiskeytown, Bottlerockets, The Gourds and The V-Roys. All of these bands have been doing this "style" of music for around 5-10 years and, in my opinion, do it way better.

If the Get Up Kids want to write midwestern acoustic porch music, so be it, but some people here need to realize that others here may not like that.

Aren't opinions grand.

Sicarius (May 31, 2002)

No, you hardly have to like the album, voice your contempt of On A Wire all you wish, but use something my past educators call CONSTRUCTIVE CRITISM, not blatant attacks.

Anonymous (May 31, 2002)

So we have to like the album? This comment section is all about voicing our opinion of the album and the review.

I fail to see anything productive in glitteringly-good reviews without any feedback or disagreement.

Sicarius (May 31, 2002)

No offense (or rather let this come with all offense deemed possible and/or neccesary), but if you have nothing productive to say or contribute, just keep your mouth shut and your cute little typing fingers still.

Anonymous (May 31, 2002)

This album sucks. If you want to listen to Alt. Country, buy some Uncle Tupelo.

You can defend it all you like, but it is a piece of crap.

It sounds like Air Supply.

myfaceisonfire (May 31, 2002)

I've said it once and I'll say it again. I love this band, I hate this album.

Anonymous (May 31, 2002)

I saw them last night in San Diego, good show. The new songs rocked live, but they played almost the whole thing. I would have liked a little more old stuff. They played forever too, like over an hour. 4 song encore. The new album is good stuff though, different but it really grew on me after being initially dissappointed. I recommend it.

ludacris (May 31, 2002)

i am african american you dicknose. thanx for assuming that only white people would be on this site. racist.

Anonymous (May 31, 2002)

well, i've been hearing some really bad things about this cd...

but after reading this review, i think i'll actually buy it.

Anonymous (May 31, 2002)

When I first bought this album I was totally disappointed. . .but after I listened to it more and more, it became better and better. I think people need to give this album time to grow on them

Anonymous (May 31, 2002)

"fuck all yall niggaz"

"Stupid ignorant prick." Thats what i said when i read that comment. How can someone post that. All 21 century music has deep african roots. Who made Jazz? yes our fellow African Americans. what about Rock? Chuck Berry he was the first to ever start the crazy guitar riffs with rebellion lyrics he made rock and roll and Elvis(not a musican the fact that he "sung" and not wrote his songs made him an entertainer not a Musican) got the credit for it. What about punk? The thing that separtes punk from other forms of music is its meaning, it sends out a message(note: the message doesn't have to be preached but raw) usually it involves Political, Self-political, religion, a narrative and a life lesson,girls and finally we can't forget masturbation. the point is that punk gives something, but lets face the fact that not much talent is involve in Punk. Thats when the african culture comes in. They were the first to sing and play instrument in the same time and they had talent and still do and they became an actual band. Later bands emerge; to many to name. The BEAT POETS would GIVE something through poetry and there would be music in the backgroud usually Africans would particpate. Bands later thought about GIVING something but they were not talented; hence PUNK( punk as evolve and it does take talent). Punks GAVE the same way ARICAN AMERICANS GAVE. Without Africans Americans; without punk.

BROken fence

ludacris (May 31, 2002)

fuck all yall niggaz.

Sicarius (May 31, 2002)


I live in houston, and personally, I think the show was great. The only thing that disapointed me were the kids that just bitched whenever they played a song they didnt know...as if GUKs would sit there and play '10 Minutes,' 'Close To Home,' and 'Action and Action' for the entire set.

Anonymous (May 31, 2002)

Do you live in Houston or were you just there for the show? I had a really good time at the show my only complaints being that 2/3 of the crowd consisted of hot topic kids that actually started to mosh to the faster songs and that the new stuff didn't go over live as well as I thought it would. On their website they said they were changing it up some but, I did not notice any changes.

Anonymous (May 31, 2002)

2 good songs, 2 stars - bigjerk

Anonymous (May 31, 2002)

On a wire is excellent. Shure they changed their sound, cant put out the same album 50 times. Overdue is a freaking masterpiece. simple yet kickass.


Anonymous (May 31, 2002)

It's good to finally see a positive review for On A Wire. I love this album, even more so than STWHA. I understand if people don't like this album, cuz it's a lot different than previous work. However, when people start sayin' that this is bad songwriting then that's just bullshit. I wonder how many of those people could write songs better than Overdue, Let The Reigns Go Loose or Hannah Hold On. I bet none.

lockdown59 (May 31, 2002)

Bravo. That was very well put. I was never a huge fan of the Get Up Kids. Some songs were good ("10 Minutes" for example), and others were just so so. And yes, I am certain that "seelout emo-pussies" and like statements will arise very very soon. I also heard the song "10 minutes on the MTV sitcom "Now What." (listening to punk hasn't turned me into a bitter corporation-hating-MTV-hating ass hole.) I maight add that that show is pretty funny.

I am surprised that so far, no one has bashed me because i watch the ol' MTV.

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