Review :: The New Amsterdams, "Killed or Cured"

For every upbeat, pop song The Get Up Kids wrote, it seems vocalist Matt Pryor has matched it with a less positive, darker song via his alter-ego as The New Amsterdams' front man. "Killed or Cured," the band's latest effort, is no anomaly.

Pryor wrote an entire album during the process of the Kids' breakup, many of the songs reflecting on his dark and lonely tour feelings. Once recording the album, Vagrant Records felt that it shouldn't be released until after TGUK's final shows in July, a year after the record had been completed. The album was shelved and the band decided to release five songs in a free online download from what the entire "Killed or Cured" album would have been. Pryor notes on "Maybe it will be released one day but if nothing else it stands as a document of a very chaotic year of my life."

For the TGUK fan still crying over the last show, the album offers some insight into Pryor's pre-breakup world, especially when combined with the notes packaged with the download. In relation to other New Amsterdams releases, "Killed or Cured" is that much more...well, depressing.

During the course of the "Guilt Show" world tour, Pryor wrote and recorded "Drinking in the Afternoon" from a hotel room in Japan the day before he quit TGUK.

"During that tour I started to get more and more down. I really wasn't happy touring and I felt like I couldn't tell anyone," he notes. "That was a lonely place for me."

Quite honestly, after listening to the album once, I was ready to go home and cry. Admittedly I'm a TGUK-superfan. But regardless of whether you're a fan of TGUK or the New Amsterdams, if you've ever intensely missed home and family you'll relate to this sincere, open-hearted collection.


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