These people will not be working at car washes two years from now, for we will have shot them all.
Incidentally, Kansas City's Get Up Kids have a new record. All of the above descriptors apply, crossed with hooky pop-punk mayhem. Think of them as a more inscrutable Blink-182, famous for writing really great bad songs: "Better Half," "Valentine." But On a Wire smells the apocalyptic emo backlash coming, and, lordy lordy, does it run like hell.
Start, as yon disc does, with "Overdue," overdosed on acoustic guitars and Super-Sensitive Guy vocals, as if singer Matt Pryor thinks he's gonna turn into Pete Yorn all of a sudden. From there it's stilted, subdued, and static pop with no bite, no hooks, no pulse.
You wait eight songs for a good one: "Walking on a Wire" busts out the piano and makes fine ballad fare. "The Worst Idea" comes closest to standard-issue Get Up Kids, dumbass keyboard part and all. But these tunes are far from transcendent, and they certainly won't transcend a disc as lazy and indistinct as this one. Ready, aim, fire.