Sky Eats Airplane - Everything Perfect on the Wrong Day (Cover Artwork)

Sky Eats Airplane

Everything Perfect on the Wrong Day (2007)

Tragic Hero / EastWest

The appeal of the first two Reggie & the Full Effect albums was twofold for me. One part of the attraction was the juxtaposition of two genres otherwise outside of my typical tastes. Hearing synth-pop and electronic music suddenly interrupted by some crushing metalcore was an unexpected and delightfully strange treat. Still, this bizarre genre mashup wouldn't have worked so well if it were not for that project's second draw: fun. James Dewees never took himself too seriously (at least not on those first two albums) and it was this sense of playfulness and ridicoulouness that held together otherwise disperate and, well, ridiculous songs.

So why all the talk about Reggie & the Full Effect's first two albums? Maybe it's because Sky Eats Airplane sound like they've listened to those albums more than most people you know, and yet they never figured out that it was a joke. Everything Perfect on the Wrong Day combines poppy electronics and whiny vocals with metalcore's crunchy attack and shouts that sound a hell of a lot like Sean Ingram from Coalesce. Yet, there are two major problems here. One is that this band is dead serious. They think combining something that sounds like it's from a Postal Service song with a breakdown from a Botch song is an artistically viable move. The second problem is that Sky Eats Airplane aren't very well-versed in electronic pop or metalcore. The programmed beats sound like they are from an 808 drum machine tutorial, while the blips and bleeps seem to ditch structure, melody and compliment in exchange for a mere "sounds cool" factor. At the other end of the spectrum the guitars are content with metalcore clichés, never branching out from chugga-chugga or dun dun screech, dun dun screech parts.

After starting with the completely pointless and hackneyed instrumental opening that sounds like it came from an electro song circa early `90s, Sky Eats Airplane go right for the throat with "Patterns," and miss horribly. The song starts with programmed metal drums that sound downright embarrassing compared to the programming of other metal artists such as Xasthur. After some screaming and chugging, that song suddenly shifts courses to produce a moment that could possibly have been stolen from the Atom & His Package archives. A peppy beat and smiling keyboards are met by the nasal clean tone singing, "Come on, come on / Get on the dance floor!"

This pattern continues throughout the album. Songs like "Opposite Viewed in Real Time" and "Giants in the Ocean" shove faux-brutality in the face of kitschy 8-bit dance sessions for hard-to-listen-to results. Sure, the band try and change things up with a track like the acoustic-laced ballad "She Is Just a Glitch," where screamer is put on hold while singer takes front stage, but with a boring beat, useless synth strings and clichéd lyrics like "And I am running out of words / And I am running out of time / To explain to you what we could have been," the band have merely found another way to produce a dud.

Everything Perfect on the Wrong Day shows a poor concept being poorly executed. Reggie & the Full Effect may have found a lighthearted way to combine metalcore and poppy electronics -- one that may not have been aesthetically brilliant, but was at least a fun trek -- while Sky Eats Airplane merely show that they are taking a poorly crafted album packed full of trite and uninspired songs way too seriously.