The Return of Fall Out Boy- by Dustin Brewer

Earlier today, it was announced that the band Fall Out Boy would be reuniting, Dustin examines both, the negative and the positive reactions to the news.

Fall Out Boy has reunited.

Now, chances are you read that one of three ways:

  1. Oh, god. 
  2. Oh my god!
  3. Who?

And honestly, no one would fault you for choosing any of those. Fall Out Boy has always been a band that irritated as many people as they entertained and fans on both sides of the coin can make valid arguments that the band is the best/worst thing to happen to music.

So naturally, when word broke this morning that they had not only reunited, but also announced a tour as well as a new album, websites like AltPress and AbsolutePunk exploded with fanfare and criticism alike. But what about this band in particular brings out such extreme reactions?

Let’s take a look at the career path and reactions to, Fall Out Boy.

2003- armed with a sweet “Simpsons” reference of a name, the band released “Take This to Your Grave” and toured extensively, opening for bands like Taking Back Sunday, Yellowcard and Blink 182. At this point, only people from their native Chicago and the hippest of hipsters know who they are.

2005- “From Under the Cork Tree,” the band’s first album on a major label, is released and spawns the hit singles “Sugar We’re Going Down” and “Dance, Dance.” The songs also receive tons of play on MTV (back when they played music videos) and expanded their popularity to include the middle school crowd. Naysayers begin to criticize the band for having a “more pop” sound than their first album did. Around this time, bassist and primary song-writer Pete Wentz began to receive the kind of attention reserved for celebrities named Jonas. This type of exposure made the band even more famous and popular, but also brought more scrutiny to them and the thought that they were more about the fame than the music.

2007- with the release of “Infinity on High” the band has all but completely abandoned their original sound. Experimenting more and more with pop, funk and hip-hop styles and arrangements, original fans now harken back to the good old days before “they sold out.” They were also never as successful, selling 260,000 copies of “Infinity” in its’ first week and appearing more and more in pop culture with a cameo in the movie “Sex Drive” as well as recruiting a star studded cast for their first single from the album. 

2008- the band start off the year releasing a live CD/DVD as well as putting haters at an all-time high by releasing their own cover of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” featuring John Mayer on guitar. Not the best start to the year in terms of street-cred but at this point, Pete Wentz has married and had a child with Ashlee Simpson and all attempts to retain any sort of credibility have been thrown out the window*. The band seem to relish this criticism and use it as part of their next album, “Folie A Deux” and collaborating with artists like Elvis Costello and Lil Wayne. They also had another star-studded video that poked fun at their image as attention starved group. The album was actually better received than their previous album as critics noted that they seemed less concerned with how naysayers would receive the album and more with making what they wanted to. They closed out the year releasing a “Greatest Hits” album complete with two new songs as tween/teen girls ran to re-buy songs they’ve heard 1000 times along and everyone else just asked “Why?”

*A large part of the hate sent the band’s way seems to be solely because of Pete Wentz’s celebrity outside of the band and his penchant for seeming more interested in headlines.

2009- The band announce they’re going on an indefinite hiatus. Pete Wentz’s own reason for the break is that his marriage to Ashlee Simpson is overshadowing the band, proving that it’s possible to be humble and douchey at the same time. Each member explains that they’re still friends, they just don’t know when they’ll get back to playing music together.

During Hiatus- Drummer Andy Hurley and guitarist Joe Trohman formed The Damned Things, a metal supergroup with members of Anthrax and Every Time I Die. Singer Patrick Stump recorded a solo album that had more in common with Justin Timberlake than anything he ever did in Fall Out Boy and Pete Wentz’s new band The Black Cards started and ended before anyone really even knew what had happened. He also opened a night club, ran a clothing line and got divorced while battling rumors that she cheated on him.

2013- With no one really winning the hiatus, the band have been shooting down rumors since December 2012 that they were working together on new music. Today, fans were shocked when the band released a statement announcing a new album, “Save Rock and Roll” to be released May 7, as well as a headlining tour and spots on the Leeds and Reading festivals. They also released a new song as well as a picture of them standing around a fire comprised of all their previous albums in various formats (see, the picture in the headline above.) What will fans/critics think of this new album and this metaphorical fresh start? If lead single “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ‘Em Up)” is any indication, they’ll each have plenty of ammo to ensure the debate rages on.

Here’s the video for their new single as well as a few choice YouTube users comments on the song and the band:

“Their album is called “Save Rock & Roll”, and the pessimist in me says that that means that the album will be everything save (as in, excluding) rock and roll. The optimist in me has decided that this could just be a media grab to get the attention of the mainstream listeners, and that the album will be mostly guitars. The one thing that is definite is that Fall Out Boy will never cease to surprise”

This man waited 3 years just to make this joke. Cheers, dude”

“About to cry. They don’t even know how long we’ve all been waiting for this<3”

“I can honestly say I’ve heard this song over 20 times today and that still isn’t enough. Welcome back boys <3”

“I love you guys but this terrible. I’m sorry, this is just very bad. I thought they were punk alternative, they don’t sound like either. I sincerely hope the rest of the album doesn’t sound like this. As far as I’m concerned, they never got back together.”

“Shhh, do you hear that? That’s the sound of the music gods answering my prayers. FOB IS BACK! Believers Never Die. <3”

 

Dustin Brewer is co-creator of HefferBrew. High School Dustin is intrigued by the return of Fall Out Boy and is willing to see where it goes. Current Dustin hopes no one ever reads that part about High School Dustin with the hopes of actually making it somewhere someday. You can reach him mock him on Twitter @dstnbrwr or @HefferBrew as well as on Facebook.com/HefferBrew

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