Fall Out Boy – Split EP

Fall Out Boy
Split EP

The Midwest is filled with bands from the pop-punk/emo persuasion that all sound identical to one another. It’s not that the bands shouldn’t get credit for trying, but their sound has been duplicated so many times that when one hears yet another third generation copy it is very easy to tune out.
With that said, there are also a lot of bands in the Midwest that take pride in taking what they have learned from previous groups and have put their own spin on these well established genres. The latest release on Uprising Records brings listeners two Midwest bands that fall under this category. Though neither of the two bands on this release do anything revolutionary in terms of style, they perform with a panache and spirit that allows their songs to transcend the normal genre limits.
Project Rocket takes a combination of acoustic rock and injects their punk rock spirit into it to make it not only catchy, but, at times, heart rendering. “Formula For Love” is built around a rhythmic blend of acoustic strumming and percussion that is slow in tempo but tight in structure. This track, like their other two on this split EP, is about relationships gone downhill. This isn’t the most original topic in the world, but it is something that everyone has some experience with. The lyrics come across honestly, and it’s easy for listeners to identify with.
“You Charlatan” is played energetically with distorted emo/pop-punk chords over emotional vocals. The band sounds tight here and they prove that they can pick up the pace a bit. “Someday” is a cross between their other two songs on this release. The track moves from light, tender verses to catchy, distortion-driven choruses. There is also somewhat of a 50s rock ballad feeling in the background to this tune as well – a nice touch.
Fall Out Boy hail from the Saves the Day/poppy-punk sound. One can’t necessarily pigeonhole them in that category though as they display some interesting changes throughout their three tracks. The fact that many of the members have played in hardcore bands comes through rather plainly as their songs have that extra bit of chunk and grit that many bands of their ilk can never dream of attaining.
“Growing Up” is a catchy, melodic blast of punk rock with just enough emo to please the Weezer-heads out there. “Switchblades and Infidelity” is the best song on the entire EP. It begins with a high energy blast of punk and moves towards a crushing yet beautiful chorus that is sure to get stuck inside the head of any listener with a place in their heart for sing-alongs. The band also demonstrates their playing ability with some interesting time changes and break downs that display their technical side. “Moving Pictures” is similar to the band’s previous two songs, but it’s different enough to keep things interesting.
This release is highly recommended to fans of pop-punk or emo, as there is enough of both to please any listener. Though this release is just the beginning for these two bands, the talent displayed here points to big things for both of them. If they can continue to progress the Midwest could have some superstars on their hands.