Reggie and The Full Effect – Last Stop: Crappy town


Band: Reggie and The Full Effect
Album: Last Stop: Crappy Town
Genre: Punk/Rock
Label: Vagrant

Tracks:
1. G
2. Smith & 9th
3. F
4. E
5. 3rd Ave.
6. L
7. J
8. V
9. Lorimer St.
10. R
11. 36th St.
12. N

Three whole years and ten million rumors later, Reggie and The Full Effect have a new album. After the band’s last effort, Songs Not To Get Married To, there was the usual touring, but then things got a bit weird. James Dewees, the mastermind of the group, went through a phase where he worked with New Found Glory and later My Chemical Romance as a touring keyboard player, which lead many to believe the band was no more as James was assumed to have joined MCR forever. Though, Reggie and The Full Effect was meant to release an album back in 2006, all fans ever heard was a demo that was available for 24hr. on Halloween in 2006. Now here we are, June of 2008, and the long awaited and rumored follow-up, Last Stop: Crappy Town has just been released via Vagrant Records. The results, well, it isn’t the Dewees has written, but it’s still something that couldn’t be done as well by anyone other than Reggie and the Full Effect.

“G,” the kickoff track to the album, pretty much paints a solid picture of what the album entails. This being a serious of crunchy guitar riffs, eerier and melodic key work, screams with some singing to accompany it, and a pounding bass/drum line. This is not an album for those who loved the funny songs or breakdance type tracks, this is a much heavier, perhaps darker feel. One thing you notice instantly is that the mastering isn’t the overworked sound many albums have as of late and this was done on purpose as Dewees has previously claimed he wanted this album to be a return to his roots with a raw sound. Overall, the track is engaging and interesting, though I can’t say anything stick out of it. The next track, “Smith and 9th,” has a more atmospheric sound, but is still quite driven thanks to a catchy drum beat. Dewees seems to take a political stance here which caugh me off guard, but the simplicity of the song in general keeps the tones from being over bearing. The beat of the second track purposely leaks into the start of, “F,” which is a pounding track with near hardcore guitar work and eerie goth punk like key work. This may be the heaviest song on the album and definitely one of the hardest of all RATFE’s career.

The album really gets heavy wants, “L,” comes on. It’s a straight up rocker with distorted guitars and a ferocious chorus. It’s a biting track that still finds time for melody on the chorus and that’s what really caps the track a s being a great one. The follow ups, “J,” and, “V,” mix this hard sound with hand claps [“J”] and old school punk riffs [“V”]. Both tracks are solid, but fail to really make a huge impact in terms of lasting ability. Following these tracks however, is Dewees hidden opus which is spread out over, “Lorimer St.,” “R,” and, “36th St.” The first and last of those three tracks serve as an intro and outro to, “R,” but are completely necessary for the glory that the song become between all three. Dewees has really outdone himself here, adding a large scale effect to a band that’s, at times, been known more for their, “short game.” The only problem with this large scale track, which explore a lot of musical territory and vocal work is that it isn’t the end to the album. “N,” seems like it tries to be a continuance of the previous three tracks, but goes in its own direction that just doesn’t impress considering what has just occurred. It’s a solid closer due to it’s large scale and big chorus, but I don’t know, it just feels uninspired.

James Dewees and his backers in Reggie and The Full Effect have a long history in this scene. Dewees said himself that he was fortunate because he remembers $5 shows for Jimmy Eat World. RATFE have been around the block a few times and this new album, those supposedly a return to roots, seems like a faulty, yet matured Dewees trying out a bunch of ideas. Some of them work amazingly well and others just fail to impress. In the end, it’s still Reggie and The Full Effect and it’s still good, but I don’t think it’s very accessible to many knew listeners and even some die hard fans may be turned away due to the serious tones on the album. I say give it a spin, even buy, only RATFE can make this kind of album and because of that, they do it better than anyone before them or that will follow.

*Written By: James Shotwell*
GRADE: 7/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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