Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
We're never at a loss for things to be disgruntled about. Our preferences for the receiving end of our ire just change as we get older. There's my old man who grumbles and curses every year around tax season, still despondent when the numbers come together and still not understanding why he has to give Uncle Sam so much of his money every year, even after 61 years of doing it. There are the recent college graduates who aren't going to get a job for a while, but still have to start paying off that student loan that was meant for that degree that was supposed to snag that job. There's the potential for $6-a-gallon gasoline this summer. There are the things that Matt Pryor and the Get Up Kids used to spend the majority of their time thinking and writing about over there in Lawrence, Kansas, when they were young 20-somethings, when the girls were becoming women, the boys were sorta becoming men and the cheap beers were tasting better than they ever have since. It was a time when the gripes centered around the impossibility of girls, the way ladies played hard to get, the way hearts were being affected greatly and the ways of the downtown scene and the way the social circles that revolved around it seemed to work. These were the days when we all went out, all the time. When we made ourselves seen. When we cared what we looked like a bit more. It was a constant thought - making it to Thursday night, for three days of drinking at parties and meeting a bunch of new people. The concerns were of the utmost importance at the time and as it tends to happen with time, those serious issues ironed themselves out and everyone settled down - some happily briefly, others happier for longer - had some babies, became domesticated and put on a bit more to their bellies, got thicker in the face, but were overall in a better way than they were back then. It tends to work out that the tables turn and the Get Up Kids - now resurrected after a number of years of downtime working on other projects - are in that matured place where there are more important things to write about. There's a widespread madness and money problems to worry about. There are divorces and afronts to general happiness that need to be dealt with. They're no longer dealing with young man sadnesses - those that can be overcome with a hard and long kiss or tender glance. Everything's different now and the Kids' latest record, "These Are Rules," is rougher and meaner, full of crunchier, fuzzier guitars and it could all stem from there being real shit to have to worry about. Things matter all of a sudden, though suddenly came in due time, just as it was supposed to. Pryor sings on "Regent's Court," "After the bombs have fallen/After the words had left my lungs/Inching the choke along/Testing the water with my tongue/The whole scene's fading/As if the walls are caving in/Have to up the medicine/Hamper the tender one/Temper the valor/It may scold/Limping under the tongue/The patient or father/Who's at fault?" and we're struck by the feeling that important things are falling to pieces and there's little that can be done.