Fall Out Boy are a millennial staple. The band have been breaking and rebuilding their sound since their inception in 2001, brandishing a new identity with each era.
They’ve been everything from garage-fuelled pop-punk with Take This to Your Grave, to From Under the Cork Tree’s mid-2000s emo, to something far more commercial with Save Rock and Roll.
Of course, the band have always stayed true to their roots, with pure, unadulterated rock shining through each inception, but these changes in sound haven’t always been subtle.
Exhibit A: ‘Grand Theft Autumn / Where Is Your Boy’ from Take This to Your Grave.
And, for comparison’s sake, ‘Young Volcanoes’ from Save Rock and Roll:
They’ve evolved, to say the least.
Their latest incarnation, the purplest of them all, is still yet to come. M A N I A was announced last week for release this September.
Though details of the album are still under wraps, fans were given a glimpse into the much-anticipated seventh Fall Out Boy era with ‘Young & Menace’.
It seems Fall Out Boy have thrown in the towel and accepted their fate: this is a pop song. And maybe now it wouldn’t be a spin too far to call them a pop band.
The track is overloaded, loud, and almost obnoxious in its production value. ‘Young & Menace’ is even somewhat reminiscent of solo Patrick Stump and his patented ‘soul-punk’ sound.
It may be leaning towards pop, but this doesn’t make it any less of a Fall Out Boy song. The band are notorious for stuffing their tracks with metaphors and impressively constructed lyrics, and ‘Young & Menace’ is no different.
They’ve come far from their IDGAF mentality of From Under the Cork Tree, when ridiculously long song titles barely made sense, but Pete Wentz’ pen is still firmly behind the operation.
‘Young & Menace’ even tells a story in the way it’s structured, starting off slow and calm, before building into a frenzy of panicked noise which couldn’t better encapsulate the name of its album.
The track could tell the story of a young Fall Out Boy, or perhaps a young Wentz, with loaded lyrics like “We’ve gone way too fast for way too long” capturing images of the band looking back at earlier days.
Poetry has always been Wentz’ forte, and it’s no secret that a lot of it is very personal to him. In parts, ‘Young & Menace’ could take his perspective, depicting moments he struggled with bipolar disorder throughout the band’s career: “Woke up on the wrong side of reality, there’s a madness that’s just coursing right through me.”
Of course, this is just an interpretation, and until the band open up about their intentions in writing we’ll have to keep guessing.
All we know for now is that this is a band that will never stop evolving. Whether you’re open to it or you’re longing for 2006, it looks like the days of eyeliner and overgrown sideburns are long behind us.