Eight years ago I was sitting in my now-roommate Josh's bedroom watching him and his little brothers play Halo, because, you know, I sucked ass and got creamed every time I tried. We'd hooked up his iPod classic to one of those gaming chairs with the speakers in the side. I had just started really getting into music at the time; I grew up in Bowling Green, Kentucky on a farm where the only music I'd been exposed to fell either into George Strait style country music or classic rock. Of course, I was still in 8th grade. Josh and I had just started becoming friends, so we were still doing the whole, testing the waters thing when it came to music. You know, the whole, throw the whole iPod on shuffle and just say fuck it and hope the other guy likes it.
I don't remember the outcome of that game. I don't remember us doing anything that day besides play video games and listen to music. What I do remember is the first time I heard "Sugar, We're Goin Down" and how I half-demanded him to tell me what the fuck we were listening to because it was something unlike I'd ever heard before. It was pop/punk and I'd never listened to pop/punk or anything like it before. Fuck George Strait; I wanted to listen to this shit. I hate to be cliche here, but from that moment on my entire idea of what I liked about music changed. I wanted lyrics and hooks and pop/punk melodies from albums where you couldn't skip a single song, rather than those country radio hits that I'd been listening to my whole life. This is where it all began.
So today when Fall Out Boy came back off their hiatus I freaked. There'd been rumors of a couple off dates that they'd play; I was more than prepared to drop half my tax return to another trip to Chicago or to Skate and Surf in New Jersey even. I'd expected a couple off dates, but never a new single today. Never an album announcement. Never a tour that actually came to Nashville.
Today Fall Out Boy released "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark", the first single off of their new album Save Rock and Roll. The song itself sounds like a natural progression from what came off of Folie a Deux. However, the symbolism behind all of this is what makes me wonder what the whole album will sound like. The video of the single depicts 2 Chainz torching all the bands past albums; the new website has a picture of band doing the same. The release date of the new album is exactly 10 years after the release date of Take This To Your Grave. That couldn't have been by accident.
I remember an interview with the band on the release of Folie a Deux about how they wanted their songs to live in the vein of anthemic classic rock songs; they wanted their own "Back In Black" like AC/DC had. I feel like Save Rock And Roll, while this first single having a much more R&B vibe than anything Rock n' Roll, continues on that mentality. This is the album that will make or break them, and I'm definitely not betting on the latter.
The last two albums haven't been Take This To Your Grave part 2 or the From Under The Cork Tree sequel, but they have still been albums that distinctly sounded Fall Out Boy. They've had the lyrics, the hooks, the distinct Patrick Stump vocals. When they went out on their hiatus, they left on a perfect note. Look closely at the "What A Catch, Donnie" music video. In it, they're leaving everything about their past behind. They pay tribute to their old songs, but they know that with each album comes a changing band. I mean, at that point they were on a boat leaving behind all of the memorabilia from their past records. Now they're coming back for all of that stuff and lighting it on fire.
"My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark" tells us that they're even lighting the ashes on fire, but from those we will watch a new Fall Out Boy rise. No, it won't be exactly the same. They're not going to be that same band that I heard 8 years ago, though I still suck ass at Halo. But we're going to know it's them.