It's easy to see how Reggie and the gang got popular in the "emo" scene. Their mixture of catchy melodies, dark and sometimes ridiculous humour and the occasional heartfelt and amazingly great song have made them more than a one-hit wonder in the scene.
After their debut album Greatest Hits 1984-1987
went well, and Promotional Copy
kept that same energy going, Reggie releases this great piece of music.
It's easy to see that they aren't the most musically challenging band on the planet. That fact aside, this album is a really fun listen. Reggie And The Full Effect are the kind of band who you buy all their albums only to learn the lyrics and sing along with them at gigs. They are a live band, to put it straight.
Under The Tray
has it's great moments though. From the downbeat introduction that is "Your Bleedin' Heart", through to the death-metal fused with synth anthem "Apocolypse WOW!" (The boss music from the popular Emogame), right down to the emotionally charged ender "Megan 2K2 (Even Though It's 2K3 Now)", this album has it's moments.
I'm sure most Reggie fans will have heard possibly their best song "Congratulations Smack & Katy". It manages to combine the wavey effects of James' keyboard to standard pop-punk riffs to make this an instant classic. This is one of those sings you will listen to again and again, and end up singing every word eventually.
There are several downfalls on this album I must point out though. One is the constant amount of skits on here. There are 6 skits, which makes this essentially an 11 track album. Don't get me wrong, Drunk Girl will always go down in Reggie history as someone who adds random humour to this album. But she has 5 skits on this CD, and I think that's a little too long to be honest.
Then there's the amount of "special guest appearances". 4 more songs featuring people who aren't James Dewees. This means different voices and in some cases, different music. In some cases it works quite well (Fluzuation's appearance on "Mood 4 Luv" goes well with the dancey music, and Hungry Bear's addition to "Apocolypse WOW!" just sounds awesome!), but sometimes, it ruins the feel of the song.
I suppose you have to look at this as a joke CD with the minor exception of a well-crafted anthem. There are probably 8 or so songs on this album which are standard Reggie, and the rest and filler joke tracks. Sometimes, they work well, sometimes they don't. What we have on this CD is 17 songs that could probably come from 17 different records. It works OK, but gets tiring after half an hour.