Fall Out Boy had not released brand new music since the 2015 LP American Beauty/American Psycho, but that didn’t mean they weren’t still working in the studio together.
On 27th April 2017 (Patrick Stump’s 33rd birthday), after a short but massive build-up by bassist Pete Wentz on the “Purple” project, the band pulled a Save Rock and Roll again: new album (MANIA, due 15th September), new US tour, and this – a new song, “Young and Menace”.
The tune starts quiet, softly, and as Stump’s vocals come in, the familiarity is there – with some unfamiliarity.
Throughout the first verse, the build-up is gradual but you can hear it; you can feel it. When the beat drops, it sounds like a skip on the iPod. It’s as if we moved from the rock section to the dubstep one, and somehow it worked! Before we know it, it slows down and softens again, and it’s a confusion our minds and our ears are falling in love with.
The lyrics and the title, “Young and Menace”, work well with the electronic/rock combo we can here. The words tell a serious story, deep and thoughtful, and the music surrounding it makes us feel every work, and every beat. The lyrics are more repetitive than in previous Fall Out Boy work, but that’s a characteristic of dance tunes.
With a sneaky Britney reference, an addictive percussion beat, and the psychotic-but-exciting remixing of the melody, this is the ideal show starter. Stump’s vocals, which everyone who is familiar with Fall Out Boy knows too well are versatile with every musical style out there, highlight the power in this song. The 0-to-10 jump between gentle and soulful, and sharp and heartfelt, matches the music perfectly.
Altogether, the tune gives the listener a new side of Fall Out Boy that has been hiding over the last two years. Every album, every new era brings on a new set of music which can be labelled as “genre-defying”, as punk how we knew it has changed – stretched – been torn up and placed back together for a little something we hadn’t heard before.
With MANIA due out in just under five months, if “Young and Menace” tells us anything, it’s that this album is one for those nights out at the club where you want to lose your mind, forget the time, and feel stronger than ever before.
For some die-hard fans, who were drifting away from the modern sounds of AB/AP, I would suggest giving yourself time to listen and take in this new tune and the new sound altogether. Who knows? It might grow on you.
It did for me. In just two days and six listens.