Reggie and the Full Effect
Songs Not to Get Married To (Vagrant)
by Lauren Bussard
Who is Reggie and the Full Effect? For years and years, the real man behind the band, James Dewees (keyboardist for rock heroes The Get Up Kids and drummer for seminal metalcore act Coalesce) spread rumors of studio fires, faked deaths, cryptic bios, and tall tales of all sorts about the bands’ history that included a mustachioed frontman named Paco.
On Songs Not to Get Married To, however, James Dewees is finally ready to come clean about his role as the songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and mad scientist behind Reggie and the Full Effect and their synth-rock goodness.
Most of the 13 songs are inspired by Dewees’ recent divorce, but that doesn’t make them tear-jerkers. This album does come off as much more serious than Reggie’s last three, but there are also still plenty of fake accents, techno dance beats, and Slayer-esque metal riffs. Songs like the grinding metal number “The Trooth” and the dance-y German techno-esque “Dethnotronic” are all classic Reggie: Switching genres at the drop of a hat, mixing irreverence and humor with razor-sharp guitars and sugar-coated melodies. My favorite track – aside from, obviously, “Laura’s Australian Dance Party” – is “Take Me Home, Please,” which almost sounds like it could be a previously unreleased track from the Postal Service.
At times, this album is a bit too “hard” for my tender ears, but that’s only because I’m a wuss, and it’s only from the occasional influence of members of Finnish metal band Common Denominator*. But even I can handle the death metal, when it’s mixed in with a little synthesizer, and a lot of humor.
* Uh, this is a joke, people, it’s not a real band. Real metalheads group generic, knuckle-dragging American metalcore into one band called Lowest Common Denominator, cuz it’s got three words, fancies stark cover art and cryptic fonts over distinguishable style, and is part of a scene, a whole genre of interchangeable “Metal for Dummies” bands milking the couple parts of that one Pantera song these pumped-up meatheads could actually play into a decade of “metal for ex-hardcore New Kids on the Block who wanna drink and meet girls, but haven’t developed the palate for Swedish metal yet, nor any of the American knock-offs.” -Ed.