[title size=”1 to 6″ style=”options: default, sidebar”]Album grade: D[/title]
When Fall Out Boy released Save Rock and Roll last year, everyone was expecting a return to the Fall Out Boy that brought us Take This To Your Grave. That’s not what happened. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a decent album, but it wasn’t the Fall Out Boy I grew up listening to. While not quite a return to form, PAX AM Days is an interesting glimpse into what Fall Out Boy could’ve been if they had stuck more with punk and less with pop, but it proves that Fall Out Boy shouldn’t get into punk anytime soon.
PAX AM Days is Fall Out Boy’s attempt at making a punk album. It’s vicious and a complete turnaround from Save Rock and Roll in the best way possible, but there’s a problem: Patrick Stump and crew can’t pull off punk. Stump’s voice is way too clean for the gritty sound of punk, and while the album is loud and wild at times, it’s too controlled to match the total clusterfuck, hold-on-for-dear-life punk sound they’re trying to emulate. As much as the guys in Fall Out Boy like to think they can be hardcore, PAX AM Days serves as a reminder that they are not.
Punk has always been a bit of an odd genre that’s best described as random, but Fall Out Boy takes it to a new level–and not in a good way. In one second, the group gets fairly close to the punk sound like with “Art of Keeping Up Disappearances,” and then the next they’re bringing back their pop sound with tracks like “Hot to the Touch, Cold On the Inside.” To make matters worse, only one of the tracks scratches past the two-minute mark and each song is over as fast as it begins, leaving the listener dazed and confused as to what just happened. Luckily, that lone track that does break the two-minute mark, “Caffeine Cold,” carries the classic Fall Out Boy sound and almost redeems the rest of PAX AM Days. Almost.
I really wanted to like PAX AM Days as an attempt to return to the old Fall Out Boy I grew up with, I couldn’t. As much as I want Fall Out Boy to move away from their current pop sound, punk is definitely not the right direction, and PAX AM Days proves that.