Fall Out Boy
American Beauty/American Psycho
Release Date: 19th January 2015
A very powerful album, full of huge tracks that will ultimately get you pumped up and give you that bit of confidence and ballsy attitude we all need. In many ways this is a huge departure from the Fall Out Boy of 10 years ago but it is a growth that works and if anything it has proved just how much this band has grown not just into adults but into a truly great band.
Trumpets set against dance beats bring us into this new album from Chicago’s favourite emo kids, with opening track ‘Irresistible’. The vocal delivery is fast, almost like a rap but retains the great harmonies that are consistently found throughout Fall Out Boy’s back catalogue. It is a great first track, upbeat and packed full of wonderful percussion that adds a swaggering edge.
A lot of this album shows a huge departure from the FOB of 10 years ago, it is something that still appeals to the older fanbase but at the same time lets the guys play with their more recent musical inspirations too. Tracks such as title track ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’ is all crashing cymbals, pounding drums and spiky guitar/synth moments, the vocals are commanding managing to stand out well from the chaotic sounds and warbling backing vocals. While single ‘Centuries’ is a huge showstopper of a track; malice and hatred runs throughout the vocals of lead singer Patrick Stump, while backing vocals build and soar creating a dramatic atmosphere.
‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’ is a much softer song, a huge comparison to the last. The vocals are mellow and more melodic, the drums pad softly and the guitars strum gently along before the chorus crashes in with soaring musical notes and a huge atmosphere that seems to be a mainstay throughout this album.
An uptempo, dancey track with retro guitars, great beats and chugging guitar lines is found in ‘Uma Thurman’; toeing the line perfectly between straight up pop before flipping the switch becoming a retro film soundtrack type song with deeper, dramatic tones. ‘Jet Pack Blues’ meanwhile is a slower, quieter track from the start with deep bass sounds and dank piano keys set against Patrick’s wonderful vocal tone. It all kicks in after that calmer start with fast drums, shouted interjecting vocals and lyrics that make this a quite heartbreaking love song.
Distorted vocals and an assertive sound greets us on ‘Novocaine’, this is a huge anthem with big sounds from the drums, bass, guitars and electronics while ‘Fourth of July’ features climbing high-pitched sounds backing up clattering drums and cymbals and prominent bass line.
A great guitar line backs up the lyrics that reminisce about a previous time in a relationship, a time that was better and more perfect, on ‘Favourite Record’. The backing vocals and wonderful melodies create a catchy melody that will see you singing and dancing along making it slightly more like old school Fall Out Boy with its hooks and sing along moments.
Another previous single ‘Immortals’ has a vocal delivery that seems urgent while the guitar is quick giving you the sense that it is constantly building to something, that something being a chorus of huge vocals and hammering drums.
A chugging guitar riff and a quick vocal open closing track ‘Twin Skeletons [Hotel In NYC]’ before a build up into heavy beats that create a great rhythm and shrieking guitar chords that work well against the low-pitched sounds regardless of how well they stand out. A truly spectacular end to a standout and rather excellent album from this Chicago quartet.
Check out the single ‘Centuries’ below: