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Fall Out Boy - This Ain"t a Scene, It"s an Arms Race Rating

The Bottom Line

Just as it seems like the post-hardcore sound is wearing thin, some of the leading bands are heading off in new, experimental directions. Hawthorne Heights is exploring chiming guitars and intricate pop vocal harmonies. My Chemical Romance embraced the operatic possibilities of concept rock. Now Fall Out Boy looks at what funky r&b can do to enhance their sound.

Watch "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race."

Rate it yourself.

  • Funky, r&b verse
  • Muscular guitar rock sound on the chorus
  • Willingness to experiment
  • Classic Fall Out Boy lyrics

  • Less than full confidence of sound

  • Pulsing, funky beat on the verse
  • Guitar rock on the chorus with a power pop edge
  • Sinister note to the lyrics

Guide Review - Fall Out Boy - This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race

As a beat kicks in that would not be out of place on a Scissor Sisters album, you may find yourself doing a double take and checking the name of the band once more, but then a muscular pop-rock chorus kicks in that is more familiar to Fall Out Boy fans.

However, more is the important word here and the fact that it is not the same. There's an organic power to the chorus here that is reminiscent of bands like the Strokes and the Vines leaving "Sugar, We're Going Down" behind. It is a direction that holds promise for the boys from Wilmette even if they don't sound completely comfortable and at peace in the new skin.

Lyrically, "Arms Race" is classic Fall Out Boy.

Kicking off with the potent lines "I have the lyrics / I am an arms dealer / Fitting you with weapons in the form of words," the song will have fans picking apart meanings for months to come. There is a touch of the sinister entertainment emcee about the song which seems to indicate a touch of influence from the band's proteges Panic! At the Disco.

The best thing about this new single is the band is far from resting on their extensive laurels. They are willing to experiment, and we are happy to go along for the ride.

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