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Not your average boy band

Fall Out Boy brings original lyrics, slamming beats and a clear voice to the pop-punk scene.

By ANDERS SCHERBERGER
Published March 25, 2004

  photo
[Publicity photo]
Fall Out Boy, which formed about two years ago, will play Masquerade on Saturday.

In a seemingly endless ocean of identical pop-punk bands, a little change is more than welcome, and that's what Fall Out Boy, a four-man band from Chicago, provides.

No repetitive lyrics, whiny voices and uninventive guitar lines here. Fall Out Boy's witty, original lyrics and slamming guitar beats, and Patrick Stump's clear voice, give an inventive twist to the typical tales of teen angst.

Sample: "This is side one/Flip me over/I know I'm not your favorite record/The songs you grow to like never stick at first/So I'm writing you a chorus, and here is your verse."

The boys (ranging in age from 19 to 25) describe themselves as soft-core, because they all are former hard-core musicians whose roots really show on all their songs, with intensity rarely found in pop-punk.

"I never want to be thought of as some dumb party band. People will take away what they want from our lyrics," bassist Pete Wentz told Skratch magazine last year.

Their wit even extends to their song titles, like these from their 2003 CD Take This to Your Grave: Reinventing the Wheel to Run Myself Over and Sending Postcards From a Plane Crash (Wish You Were Here).

Fall Out Boy was formed a little more than two years ago when Wentz joined with friend and guitarist Joe Trohman to start a band just for fun. They later hooked up with Stump and started searching for a drummer. After several failed attempts, they found Andy Hurley and began a grueling schedule of touring.

"Eventually, we started getting a buzz and these labels started calling us back," Wentz recalled in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times. "All these labels that we had sent the demo to started calling us, and they'd be like, "Send us a tape,' and I'd be like, "You have it just sitting in your office, and you've never listened to it!' "

The group eventually signed with Fueled By Ramen, home of Less Than Jake, Jimmy Eat World and Yellowcard. The group recently switched to major label Island Records, boosting them from touring in a little broken-down van to a European tour opening for fellow Chicago punk band Mest, a tour that brings them Saturday to the Masquerade in Ybor City.

- Anders Scherberger is a freshman at Plant High School in Tampa.

PREVIEW: Fall Out Boy opens for Mest, 7 p.m. Saturday at the Masquerade, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Also on the bill are Matchbox Romance and Dynamite Boy. $13. (813) 247-3319.

ON THE WEB: You can hear samples of Fall Out Boy at www.purevolume.com/FallOutBoy

[Last modified March 24, 2004, 10:21:42]


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