Reggie and the Full Effect

Get Up Kids keyboardist James DeWees’ kooky pop project Reggie and the Full Effect has flirted with metal before, turning in a giddy cover of Slayer’s “Raining Blood” and introducing characters such as the Finnish mosh warlords Common Denominator and Hungary Bear. But he’s never concocted late-era Metallica riffs like the one that fuels “The Fuck Stops Here” — it’s a surprise when James Hetfield’s trademark gut-punched ugh! doesn’t follow that song’s opening salvo. And he’s never crafted stuttered-blast breakdowns for kung-fu choreographers until “The Trooth” and “What the Hell Is a Stipulation.” In true Reggie fashion, though, both songs contain cutely crooned choruses, and both are next-track neighbors to piano-peppered prom ballads that recall Madonna at her most maudlin. “Love Reality,” with its ostentatiously synthesized beat and sternly intoned vocals, echoes Euro-trash disco, and “Deathnotronic” resurrects Rob Zombie’s death-dance-hybrid sound. Despite the gimmicks, Songs Not to Get Married To plays like Reggie’s first adult album, lyrically as well as sonically. Lines such as I want to get inside you and die and I guess I’m horrible for you, among many others, deal directly with DeWees’ recent divorce, which, depending on the listener’s tolerance for uncomfortable intimacy, either gives them unprecedented emotional gravity or makes them kinda creepy.

Categories: Music