Tuesday, 20 January 2015
American Hustle/American Dream.
Lets hear it for American sweethearts! In the same week 'American Hustle' star Bradley Cooper and American legend Clint Eastwood release the new 'American Sniper', Oscar bait picture, the former all American, rock star rejects Fall Out Boy are heading for the Grammy's this February armed with a face painted black, Outkast and ASAP Rocky stars and stripes flag. Ready to make movie music to the tune of Kevin Spacey and Christian Bale, 'American Beauty' (like Springsteen's rose petal E.P. last year), 'American Psycho'. America, f### yeah! Your college rock is back...all grown up. No need for nostalgia now. After the Weezer of the last generation (yes you're that old...me? Even older still) started their career off with the bang of the big bucks albums 'Take This To Your Grave, 'Under A Cork Tree', 'Infinity On High' and the 'Dance, Dance', 'This Ain't A Scene, Its An Arms Race' radio repeating, super singles that followed, the signature voice of Patrick Stump and the magazine cover bassist Pete Wentz decided to make a change. A more mature, musical one. All whilst staying true to their original substance and style. The quintessential quality that made them who they are. Just like their career, nu metal contemporaries Linkin Park who really came into their own for die hard fans and not alike last year. More evolution than redemption, but you can call this renaissance a revolution. Rock music was in trouble, but these boys survived the fall out. 'Folie A Deux' was the catalyst change and a fresh hit like their cover of Michael Jackson's 'Beat It' that highlighted their obligatory, middle of the career road 'Greatest Hits' package. Then after saving rock and roll with the likes of Elton John and Big Sean, the former frats of the frets graduated to an even greater musical metamorphism. Now to kick off the year of music what's more distinctly American right now than these beautiful psychos?
Kiss goodbye to those January blues. Its all red, white and all right now, with this summer sound springing into winter warming action off your headphones and speakers. Simply 'Irresistible' like this albums undeniable tip off, this whole thing sounds like a slam dunk. Catchier than flu season or a Bruno Mars trip to the seventies streets of 'Uptown Funk' (check F.O.B's live, bass beautiful cover of this), pop rock has never popped quite like this in a new era where the crossover genre is Taylor Swift shook off cool in this country. There's no band like Fall Out Boy! Who else could rock with The Roots and John Mayer? Release an 11 track with no features and still be the main presentation. The guys with the best song names in the entertainment business can even make 'Uma Thurman' a hit again! Now that's pulp fact. This album is a perfect, clean sweep, 39 minute run through. No skipping or stone in the shoe. Just check 'AB/AP's' lead single 'Centuries'. Its as big as great, grand comeback classics get. From its Suzanne Vega 'Tom's Diner' classic, "du, du, du, du, du, du" samples to its gladiatorial video, this is in a whole different arena altogether for a band who are more suited for a stadium sound now. As Stump sings to be remembered for days and ages, "Mummified my teenage dreams/No, it's nothing wrong with me/The kids are all wrong/The story's all off/heavy metal broke my heart", its clear from great songwriting and making this one man and his band are determined to "go down in history". With this, and the harmony hooks of fellow monster, 'Munster' theme sampling single 'Thurman' (we're not sure of the monster/'Kill Bill' actress connection) and the two tiered album title track the hall is getting Will Hunting buffed for these graduated geniuses who applied the heart paddles to rock and roll.
You can't just single out the radio plays however. The movie buffs references in rock continue with 'The Kids Aren't Alright' as the punk kid of Offspring stay fly like Three Six Mafia. There's plenty of hip-hop influences here too, for a band who once had 2 Chainz flame thrower torching their past long after they brought 'Shock Value' with prolific producer Timbaland. On 'Jet Pack Blues' these kids really take off on soar with their perfect peak still in percussion punctuated sights. 'Novocaine' is a soulful high-five to it with no sputter, before 'Fourth Of July' truly rocks an explosion of fireworks. Big American cities and broadcast networks may want to book them for that celebration now. Even Guy Fawkes couldn't hold a fuse to that basketball arena filler. The whole thing just sounds this comeback confirmed big. From the 'Favourite Record' that plays like exactly that, no matter your jam, to the 'Big Hero 6' hit movie take 'Immortals' that lives on for centuries in this album. It all comes to a checkout in the Sid and Nancy 'Skeleton Key's (Hotel In NYC)' closer that shows these young pistols can light up with the times in Manhattan. This whole album is just something else. A record of the year candidate and January hasn't even fully got out of the gates yet. With epic songs and moving melodies of catchy choruses and lasting lines like "You were the song stuck in my head/Every song I've ever loved/Played again and again and again/And you can get what you want but it’s never enough/And I’ll spin for you like your favorite records used to", every song feels like a new, favourite classic that is nostalgia deceptive like its either been around for ages or "where have you been" missing through your whole playlists life. The band sounds this sensational, amplified by Stump's vocals, a chorus and ring of one of modern music's wonders. Each track bursts like a carbonated drink shook up and twisted open and as these boys go from soda to beer, BOOM! They've just become the best band around of epic, effervescent energy you once thought were a mere guilty pleasure. With new conviction we find these guys guilty of nothing but holding a new court of their own in rock. This is psycho crazy and beautifully bold. Sweethearts this is the American dream...all grown up. TIM DAVID HARVEY.