Album Review: Fall Out Boy’s “PAX AM Days”

2013 has been a big year for Fall Out Boy, and they have been surprising their fan base more than ever.

 Announcing a reunion earlier this year that no one saw coming, Fall Out Boy released a follow-up album to their last studio album, Folie à Deux, which dropped in 2008.  Save Rock & Roll debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard Top 200, and received many positive reviews.

 Some fans, however, were concerned about the more poppy nature of the album, a concern that had been continually growing with consecutive album the band released.  Fall Out Boy has taken notice, and it is apparent with their new EP, “PAX AM Days”.

 The EP was released on October 15th, and pays homage to their original, aggressive punk rock sound.  The EP features eight new songs, but the run-time is only thirteen minutes and nineteen seconds with only one song breaking the two minute marker.

 PAX AM Days bears resemblance to Fall Out Boy’s first album “Take This To Your Grave”, released in 2003. There are some differences, however, such as a slightly more aggressive sound and the length of the songs is obviously different than Fall Out Boy’s usual full-length tracks.

 Patrick Stump’s voice has also obviously evolved since the band’s first album, and the new EP is strong evidence. The EP takes on a punk-rock sound similar to early punk, rather than the pop-punk sound Fall Out Boy was originally known for.

 If you have been following Fall Out Boy for a while, there is a good chance you will probably appreciate the experimenting they did with “PAX AM Days”.  You will especially enjoy the EP if you preferred the more grungy sound that they originally used in earlier works. But for fans who prefer the alternative sound from “Infinity On High” and the albums following, this EP probably isn’t for you.

The only real disappointment from “PAX AM Days” is the fact that the songs sound so similar that they could probably be mashed up into one long, consecutive thirteen minute piece. But this is a minor issue, as many punk EP’s and albums have this quality. Some may not even find it an issue.

Because of the similarity in the tracks, it’s hard to pick a favorite.  That being said, “Eternal Summer” is probably one of the best, if not the best song on the EP.  It’s very grungy, but at the same time really catchy.  Stump’s yelling paired with his vocals make for a really high energy punk anthem that sounds like something you’d hear while playing one of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater games.

Another fun track is the closing song, “Caffeine Cold,” a high-tempo song that sounds a little more like traditional Fall Out Boy than the rest of the tracks.  It definitely ends the EP strongly.