The Get Up Kids

Red Letter Day/Woodson

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This CD combining two hard-to-find EPs (1997's Woodson 7" and 1999's Red Letter Day 10") provides an entertaining glimpse into two of the more raw and punk-edged stages in the evolution of the Get Up Kids. A brash but melodic nine songs, the thing that really jumps out is the transition that this group made in the two years between recordings. The four songs from Woodson (positioned last on this collection) are very rough-edged and full of furious energy, while the songs that originally appeared on Red Letter Day foreshadow the band's now trademark harmonies and dynamic songwriting. The urgent "Forgive and Forget" is contrasted by the poetic and yearning "Mass Pike," and both are jarred off balance by the indie punk of "Second Place." This pair of recordings serves not only as a fine introduction to one of emo's premier acts, but also as an interesting window into the growth of the band. [The second track appears in an even more refined form on 1999's sublime Something to Write Home About].

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