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Cover Art Reggie and the Full Effect
Promotional Copy
[Heroes and Villains/Vagrant]
Rating: 5.5

Given two pieces of information, you can probably figure out exactly what Promotional Copy sounds like. Fact 1: Reggie and the Full Effect is fronted by Get Up Kids keyboardist James Dewees. Fact 2: Promotional Copy includes songs titled "From Me 2 U," "Megan 2K," and "Thanx for Stayin'." So if you're thinking synth-driven, sugar-coated pop with heavily emo-inflected lyrics, you're right on target. Promotional Copy is a perky, peppy blast of synth-pop saccharine that will no doubt be a treat for Get Up Kids fans, but may very well leave a bad taste in almost anyone else's mouth.

The opening track, "A.C. Lerok... Bitches Get Stiches," is supposedly a tape of the death of "Reggie," a fictional pop icon not unlike Chris Gaines, only dead. Throughout Promotional Copy, you'll find a slew of somewhat-funny skits, as well as a few genuinely funny genre caricatures. "Gloves" is a pretty amusing spoof on brooding '80s Euro-pop. And the album's closer, "Dwarf Invasion," is a hilarious take on Finnish death metal. "Doot Doot Pause Doot Doot" is a mercifully short foray into techno mockery. And, minus the whiny nasal vocals, "Good Times, Good Tunes, Good Buds" would be a pretty entertaining take on today's one-riff rap-metal craze.

The rest of the album plays like a parody of annoying high-pitched emo pop. Unfortunately, it isn't a parody. Tracks like "Relive the Magic... Bring Home the Magic" sound an awful lot like... well, the Get Up Kids. The album's most intolerable moment comes with "From Me 2 U," which features trite synthesizers backing some of the most unbearably overused vocal melodies you'll ever hear, and lyrics so hateful we don't even want to print them.

But no matter how bad Promotional Copy gets, Reggie and the Full Effect never take themselves too seriously. Though far too much of the record consists of hackneyed pop drivel, the band never falls into the trap of self-importance that makes the indie rock elitists so intolerable. Promotional Copy is completely devoid of pretense-– it's a bunch of guys playing bouncy pop songs and recording goofy skits. But ultimately, it sounds like Promotional Copy was a lot more fun to make than it is to listen to.

-Matt LeMay