Reggie and the Full Effect Songs Not To Get Married To

Were it not for some truly inspired songwriting, this fourth release from Get Up Kids keyboardist James Dewees’ popular side project would be an unparalleled disaster. Eschewing the silliness and bizarre humour that marked previous Reggie releases, this is a record filled with far more sombre and serious odes to love lost and falling apart. Inspired by Dewees’ recent divorce, songs like "What the Hell Is a Stipulation” drip contempt and fresh anger, still keeping the sonic template established on previous albums. Crunchy guitars and powerfully heavy drumming mix with electronic beats and synthesised sounds, creating a power-pop sound that is uniquely Reggie. Including guest spots by Klaus from Common Denomitar, a band from "Finland,” Fluxuation, Hungary Bear, and the Drunk Guy At The Get Up Kids Show, these more humorous tracks are mostly lumped in at the end of the disc, making for a somewhat lighter listening experience. In particular, the Klaus/Hungary Bear joint, "Deathnotronic,” is a wonderful ode to terrible techno songs of the past, owing a great debt to the theme from Mortal Kombat. All in all, however, this is a serious, sad album, that may be a turn off for fans of previous efforts. But given that we have let Dewees amuse us endlessly for three whole records, it seems only fair to offer him the chance to release something with as much heart as any real band has. (Vagrant)