Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

The Get Up Kids 

Guilt Show (Vagrant)

On message boards and mix tapes, the Get Up Kids once galvanized "emo" as the emotionally relevant rebirth of punk for the Y Generation. The Kansas band led the vanguard of a cultural coup that revolutionized the underground zeitgeist by fusing post-punk staples (Braid, Jawbox, etc.), navel-gazing confessions, and crunchy pop choruses.

The band's fourth full-length release, Guilt Show, finds that the Get Up Kids of 2004 bear no resemblance to those revolutionaries. The 14-track collection revs up with "Man of Conviction," a minute and a half of airbrushed mall punk. On it, singer Matt Pryor begins the sing-along nonsense ("The blood from the cut that is sealing/And you gasp in the air where you're breathing") in an overly affected, pitch-corrected snarl. The other uptempo singles ("Martyr Me," "How Long Is Too Long") employ similarly banal babble, but the slow jams' messages border on parody. "You're killin' me with sincerity," Pryor poses on "Dark Night of the Soul." "Redemption is a bitch to end on." You're telling us.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

More by Nate Cavalieri

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays