James Dewees, the punk rock jack of all trades and mastermind behind Reggie And The Full Effect, has just unleashed Reggie’s seventh full-length album, the surprisingly mature but still oh so hook-laden, ‘41′ via Pure Noise Records. Written during periods of immense personal strife and geared around themes of loss and aging, ‘41′ gets poignant and introspective, then jukes back into eccentric, light-hearted synths; but through it all, Reggie keeps rocking.
After a hazy intro track, “II Pesce Svedese” kicks ‘41′ off into high gear. Driving guitars, booming drums, masterful keyboards that float above the fray all build into an epic breakdown/crescendo at the end. Dewees’ voice ooze’s sincerity even borderline desperation as he laments “I wish I could have seen you coming” while the song fades out. “Karate School,” is another heavy, lumbering track. The guitars and bass lines feel like Woolly Mammoths stomping on sheets of ice. The lyrics might be a bit light, longing to kick ass at, you guessed it, karate school; but even here Dewees and the Reggie crew are dead serious about their delivery.
Conversely, ballads like “New Years Day” and “And Next With Feeling” is so tender and barebones, with Dewee’s heartbreaking caterwaul after the line: “She was everything, and now everything’s gone;” these moments on 41 are destined to hit you right in the feels. Of course, that’s entirely the point. Reggie And The Full Effect has been Dewees’ anything goes side project since the beginning. The man who broke necks with Coalesce broke hearts with The Get Up Kids, and rocked stages with New Found Glory and My Chemical Romance, uses Reggie to express whatever he’s got pent up inside. After some rough times, it seems like Dewees has definitely matured as an artist. But fear not, there are still some goofy but genius wtf moments on 41, liked the Channing Tatum electro soundtrack and a bastard hybrid of trap meets heavy metal. Reggie And The Full Effect may be exploring the pains of aging, but it’s pretty clear that they’ll never stop rocking.
To purchase Reggie And The Full Effect’s 41, click here!