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July 24, 2024

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Fall Out Boy
Take This To Your Grave (Fueled By Ramen)

By: Vinnie Apicella

First thing that stands out is the biting lyricism that stands out like black and blue amongst otherwise milky white shades of hand holding, heart-tugging Pop music and soft Punk. So rather than taking the true blue theme of she left me for another man and calling it, "Why Me?" or "Broken Heart," and something so monumentally '80s mall stories, here's Fall Out Boy, and God bless 'em, only a year and a half after their first basement assembly, and lettin' fly the open chord and defiance in the face of middle-class frustration-- And so cleverly while you're bobbing your head, air drumming or grooving to the guitar pick, rest assured it's not just another "Piss to put you out" retort to the idea of catching fire and hope you both die in the end! I can't disassociate FOB with the million or so other Power Pop/Punk groupies that've clamored to get their college-age anthems on record chain playlists and do the next Goo Goo Dolls tour. Starting there isn't a bad idea actually, and if we went back a few years -- say maybe 12 -- before the GGD's got all sappy and sweet, the songs had a robust edge to go with the recurring morning after effect to suggest an at work opposing force when shits and giggles weren't all the cruel world had to offer. The Chicago foursome knows this formula and follows it to the letter -- anxious, catchy guitar hooks and highly participative mic sharing to add the so-necessary depth to the peak/valley croon of wailing Peter Wentz, a pleasantly evocative personality that's schooled in the BJD style of serve and smile, sing-songy vocal sharing of about 78 and counting. So while separatism isn't a strong point of Emo-Rock music, if there's one quality that stands out from the rest it's the honesty to transcend the shallow bullshit of youth and fake in front of a mirror everything you'd ever wanted to be and say and never had the set to do it. Sociologically sound and satirically sadistic, "Take This To Your Grave" is like the smart-mouthed suburban teen with a grown up vocabulary and the ability to make overdrawn inter-relational commonalities seem poignant enough to warrant a return trip to the CD player every six or seven months. Stand outs and the reason they exist include, "Tell That Mick He Just Made My List Of Things To Do Today" -- heard it all before but find a better song title, "Dead On Arrival," a shorter one that deals with, you guessed it, but he compares himself to a record, and that's pretty damned innovative if you ask me; "Sending Postcards From A Plane Crash (Wish You Were Here)" is another heart-tugger with an extra dose of piss to accompany the vocalist's vinegar; and "Reinventing The Wheel To Run Myself Over" is a well worded exercise in self-pity while the closing "The Patron Saint Of Liars And Fakes" plays up the boy/girl I know your secret theme and thus the "take that to your grave." Conceptual? I'd have to say so, but excuse me while I spit. If you're digging bands like Ozma, Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World, Useless ID, or 5 Cent Deposit types, then this is for you; if you're repulsed by the pre-packaged selling of late teen drama, albeit expertly presented and left of center stage, stick to yer 7 Seconds, American Standard types and never let 'em see ya sweat.
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