by Jason Stives, edited by Erik van Rheenen
The Get Up Kids frontman Matt Pryor has spent the past decade devoting almost every year to creating new music. Between fronting the iconic emo band and his own folk-infused act the New Amsterdams, he has released no less than three solo efforts in the past five years, making it difficult to identify him with just one outfit. Pryor bleeds a level of musicianship and constant output that many don’t serve up, leaving it impossible to deem one sole release of his as a side project. Wrist Slitter, the fifth LP under his own name, is a vibrant splash of nineties fuzz rock accented by the folk sensibilities he has practiced since the early 2000s.
If there is one thing that Pryor’s labor displays constantly, it’s the laid back breeziness that comes from his voice which is all nerves and a hint of twitchiness that only youth can harness. His 30 something demeanor is no match for the ageless quiver that he lashes out on “The House Hears Everything” and “Kinda Go to Pieces,” songs that piston at record rates, harkening back to his emo roots. Never braking too hard or, for that matter, slowing down, all the key influences of his career pepper the record. As a fan of nineties alt favorites like Superchunk and Braid, this is an album that would have felt right at home as a release in between TGUK’s Something to Write Home About and On A Wire, an effort that displays continuous learning and longevity through maturation.
Pryor seldom allows the tracks to overstay their welcome, and for the most part, no song drags beyond the three and a half minute mark. Even when tracks take on a style reminiscent of a New Amsterdams’ track, like they do on the string quartet imbued “As Perfect As We’ll Ever Be,” it’s punctual and straight to the point with no meandering. There is no time to really mess around, and this is where 18 years of constant output shines brightly in his work.