It’s old news that I absolutely abhor everything Fall Out Boy has done since their return from hiatus. Not even the underground release of Pax Am Days was enough to keep me interested. Drum machines, a distinct lack of guitars, and a swarm of silly pop nonsense that includes, but is not limited to, duets with bubblegum pop singers, ripping off The Munsters theme song, and writing movie soundtrack singles with rappers. What the ACTUAL fuck is going on?
Sure. Fall Out Boy was an unabashed pop punk band that made absolutely no qualms about being pop stars. But all the while their music was still based in rock and roll. Live drums, big guitars, huge anthemic choruses. Hell, they even opened a song with a breakdown. Ever since their return we’ve been met with nothing but drum machines, synthesizers, and songs that belong on pop radio. I’ve called them “Patrick Stump and the Fall Out Boys” ever since.
Bands change. It’s a phenomenon I’m familiar with. This is selling out on a level I never thought possible. Drummer Andy Hurley played in fucking Racetraitor.
And now he’s pretending to play real drums to a programmed beat in music videos. He doesn’t need this shit.
That brings us to the current release, “Young and Menace”.
Electric piano, an intimate Stump vocal. This could kick off at any second. Wait, an awkward pop culture reference. And another. Electronic drums. This can still get huge. Building…
Wow. The entire chorus is a single vocal line chopped up like a dubstep break. I give up. This band is fucking dead to me. Congrats. I hope that “Big Hero 6” and “Ghostbusters” money was worth this.
So the last 5 years of FOB’s career has been a slap across the mouth. Obviously the title of this article would imply that there are more. You’d be correct.
We’ll turn to Panic at the Disco (Formerly Panic! at the Disco), which at this point should just be music released under the name Brendon Urie. There are literally no other members in the band. This is not PatD. It doesn’t SOUND like PatD. It is conveniently called Panic so people don’t have to learn Urie’s name. He writes all the songs. The videos revolve exclusively around him. This is a solo project. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like a few songs on this most recent album. But it’s not Panic.
And then there is Paramore, which at this point is the Hayley Williams show. They tried SO hard not to make the entire band about her. But at this point she’s the only original member. Original drummer Zac is back in the band, but way too late. “Ain’t it Fun” got all that Kidz Bop money, and it seems they are going to stay that way.
What the rock lobster is going on here?
The overall theme here is that these bands/artists have abandoned the fan base that fueled their rise to prominence. None of these shifts conveyed a sense of mature progression. It’s a night and day change with an easily identifiable start point.
“they don’t owe you anything, let an artist do what they want” you shout from the back of the crowd.
No, I answer. A band owes their audience an explanation. Just say you wanted the money. Say you detest the immaturity of your old material. Say it isn’t you anymore. Say the member changes caused it. Say SOMETHING about it. Don’t pretend that WE are being unreasonable because we can’t figure out how Paramore’s “My Heart” fits in a set with “Ain’t it Fun”.
Simple solution. Change your name. Call this thing Paramore is doing “Yelyah” (thats Hayley backwards, for the normies out there). Let Panic just be Brendan Urie. Disband Fall Out Boy and never be seen in the same room again. Simple solutions. This is keeping brand recognition while making music that makes you money. That’s an insult. Stop spitting in our faces. Admit you aren’t who you were and stop pretending like we should be okay with this. You’re not Prince. You don’t get to reinvent whenever you feel like it.
Easter egg: notice how the Panic and Paramore thumbnails are a close up of the star? That’s when you know it’s not about the band anymore.