Studied up on the post-punk and new wave movements of the '80s, the Aeffect fell in line with bands like the Faint with their own pulsing synths, moody vocals, and electronic touches. Friends Aaron Feibus (vocals, guitar) and Steve Kramer (keyboards, vocals) had been playing music together for years, but didn't formally create the Aeffect until April of 2000. Based in the college town of Gainesville, FL, they soon brought in drummer Brad Bulifant to flesh out their ideas, and the trio issued its debut EP, the Depeche Mode-inspired A Short Dream, in October 2001 on Fueled by Ramen, a predominantly punk-oriented label (and Feibus' employer). As a result of their label affiliation, most tours behind the album had the trio sharing bills with punk and emo acts like Less Than Jake, the Impossibles, As Friends Rust, and Cadillac Blindside. The Aeffect were also slotted to play six weeks of the 2002 Warped Tour, but their stint was cut a bit short after Feibus got into a fight with members of Good Charlotte and the band was kicked off the tour. Work began on their full-length the following spring, and though Feibus left the group at the end of 2003, the remaining two continued on. The resulting record, Secrets and Lies, was a more dynamic and rock-oriented effort that was released via their own imprint, Hitchhiker Records, in the fall of 2004.