Why Fall Out Boy WILL Save Rock and Roll
Fall Out Boy’s return has been rumoured for weeks thanks to a plethora of music writers jumping on the reunion bandwagon (guilty!). 2013 marks ten years since the release of their major label debut ‘Take This To Your Grave’ so an anniversary tour seemed imminent and logical – for everyone except Fall Out Boy, that is.
Although fans were prepared for an announcement after an ‘insider’ article from No Country For Nashville went viral across Tumblr and Twitter, FOB’s loyal followers were still not prepared for just how new their new announcement would be. Releasing a brand new song entitled ‘My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ‘Em Up)‘ and tour dates worldwide and a pre-order for an album proves that Fall Out Boy are still one step – or perhaps, a mile – ahead.
Their comeback album’s modest title ‘Save Rock and Roll’ is already causing controversy, especially given the un-rock and roll sound of its first radio single – but doesn’t that make it even more ‘Rock and Roll’? While the rest of rock and roll’s supposed saviors busy away their lives with pathetic arguments about whether guitar music is dead or not (Clue: It’s not, move on), Fall Out Boy are embracing the genre’s true ethos with experimentation. A genre needs to evolve to stay alive, and that is exactly what Fall Out Boy are doing. Similarly, when lead singer Patrick Stump branched with his solo album ‘Soul Punk’, his use of synths and pop beats was far more ‘punk’ than him writing ‘From Under The Cork Tree – Part II’.
There’s no doubt that amongst the hype and hysteria of Fall Out Boy’s return, there will be a few confused fans who crave their rock music to sound like, well, rock which ‘MSKWYDITD (LEU)‘ doesn’t offer but the emphasis is on the ‘few’. Those who are miffed by a 2 Chainz cameo would have already deserted Fall Out Boy – before Jay-Z intro’d ‘Infinity On High’, before 50 Cent opened for them on tour, before Lil’ Wayne, Debbie Harry, Elvis Costello et al all guested on the eclectic ‘Folie à Deux’ AKA a long time ago. Perhaps, the haze of the hiatus has caused some to forget that Fall Out Boy were always about pushing forward, rather than re-living their ‘glory days’.
However, the mood their latest release creates suggests that they are not only refusing to repeat the past, but are actually erasing it. While Fall Out Boy’s previously self-referential videos remembered the music of yesteryear through rose-tinted glasses (as seen in ‘Thnks Fr Th Mmrs’ and ‘What A Catch, Donnie’), their latest offering may leave some with pangs of sadness as the band’s past is set alight. As everything from the Fall Out Toy Works comic books to their vinyl records burn, it’s easy to see why some see this as a goodbye to the past . The latter is particularly painful for all those who just forked out $23 at Hot Topic for a re-pressing of ‘From Under The Cork Tree’.
To view this video as a ‘fond farewell’ would be a mistake (they’ve only just returned!!!). This is not the end, this is a new beginning. Fall Out Boy are not dead, but they have been born again. There’s no need to put ‘Take This To Your Grave’ on your bonfire, but there’s also no reason to not press ‘Pause’ while you experience what Fall Out Boy sound like in 2013, not 2003.
Roll ‘n’ Roll will be saved, but only by embracing change. ‘Light ‘Em Up’s video may seem to closer to ‘Run This Town’ than anything produced by Fall Out Boy’s immediate peers, but it’s good to know that Fall Out Boy are back – and they’re back at the forefront.
World, meet your saviors of rock ‘n’ roll – they’re called Fall Out Boy ……. and they’re new.
Here’s to the kids who are not afraid of change.