ARTICLES by Travis Angst by Scott Heisel
The Æffect Talk Vans... by James Montgomery
New Waves by Lacey Tauber
The Æffect Takes On the Punk World
Action Attack Helicoptor by Kurt Morris
Invisible Youth by Josh Stern by Kevin Wade
Aaron's Seven Deadly Sins by Stijn Daenens
Cheap CD Reviews
Belchin Waffles by Conor Glassey

by Lacey Tauber

One of my clearest memories of my late elementary-early middle school years is of rollerskating at a rink near my house called the Rollercade. It was the very early 90s, but the 80s were still in full effect. Decked out in our neon t-shirts, slouch socks, and stretch pants, we skated in circles for hours to hit after hit by the likes of MC Hammer and Tiffany (except for the fast-skates, which always featured “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns-n-Roses). I remember particularly liking when the DJ played “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode or “Bizarre Love Triangle” by New Order. To this day those songs still remind me of the smell of wood and feet. Although I of course didn’t realize it at the time, I enjoyed these songs in particular because they were pretty much the only ones the DJ played that didn’t SUCK.

As this 80s roller-rink generation comes of age, they are reclaiming their past. Arguing that there actually was good stuff about the 80s… really. Arming themselves with synthesizers, they are creating a new wave of New Wave.

The Æffect, the newest addition to Fueled By Ramen Records’ predominately punk roster, is a perfect example. Three friends from Florida, though probably a couple years older than I, are definitely influenced by this same music. With one keyboardist, one drummer, and one vocalist, they create upbeat synth pop that could easily be mistaken for something made in 1987.

These guys are more serious, however, than many new New Wavers, who seem to be all about creating Synth Pop for the sake of being cheesy. The Æffect’s vocals aren’t cutesy, their synth riffs aren’t overly deliberate, and their lyrics aren’t childish. No, their sound is more in the vein of dark-wave contemporaries The Faint, though slightly less depressive. The Æffect will make you want to get up and dance while simultaneously proving that they have all the elements of a mature rock band, just as Depeche Mode, New Order, U2, and many others did before them.

A Short Dream, the Æffect’s debut EP, is only 6 songs long (two of which are pretty piano interludes), yet it is all they need to prove themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the electronic/rock world. The first track, “What You Don’t Say,” sets the tone with a simple beat, layers of synthesizer riffs, and vocals reminiscent of Bono - and the EP just doesn’t quit. “Insomnia” brings in female vocal harmonies for a great track that will get your booty shaking in no time. “Always Artificial” is equally strong.

If I were in an emo band these days, I would see the Æffect as a huge threat. Their place on Fueled by Ramen and the fact that they have shared a stage with such acts as the Impossibles, As Friends Rust, Grade, and the Locust, proves that bored musicians and fans alike are searching for another musical direction. And the Æffect, along with their new New Wave contemporaries, may just have the right mix of nostalgia, emotion, and talent to provide it.