by Lacey Tauber
Article from AUDIOGALAXY.COM
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 didnt realize it at the time, I enjoyed these songs in particular because they were pretty much the only ones the DJ played that didnt 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 Æffects vocals arent cutesy, their synth riffs arent overly deliberate, and their lyrics arent 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 Æffects 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 Dont Say, sets the tone with a simple beat, layers of synthesizer riffs, and vocals reminiscent of Bono - and the EP just doesnt 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.