By Trenton Shaw
Reggie and the Full Effect’s music, although hard to classify, can succinctly be described as “Deathnotronic.” This label didn’t come from a music snob–like math rock or post-punk–it’s the title of one of the tracks off Songs not to get Married to and could be seen as the inspiration for the whole album, a chaotic combination of hard-edge metal and ’80s electronica.
Some would say Reggie and the Full Effect must be crazy to try and pull off an album placing death screams overtop of cheesy synthesizers, but the end result is almost successful. Almost. “What the Hell is Contempt” crumbles under the apocalypse of power-bark vocals and blaring synthesizers, while “What the Hell is Stipulation” is bogged down by the awkward clash of keyboards and heavy muted guitar. When songs which could have been written by the Postal Service follow Napalm Death-style metal, the album quickly loses direction.
But Songs not to get Married to definitely has its high points. Nowhere is the marriage of styles more graceful than “Get Well Soon”and “Deathnotronic,” where digital sounds mesh into heavy grooves. The best part of the album is “Laura’s Australian Dance Party,” an irresistibly hot dance-disco tune that recalls the better days of the ’80s.