Fall Out Boy
When Pete Wentz was reached by cell phone in Los Angeles on a December afternoon, the Fall Out Boy bassist and lyricist was giddy. Not from the SoCal weather or the fact that his band was recording its major-label debut for Island and had secured a spot on the main stage of the 2005 Vans Warped tour. No, he was ecstatic over having purchased a croquet set to take on Fall Out Boy’s late-winter minitour — perfect for playing “snowquet” in front of the club. Sound like the juvenile antics of yet another middling emo band? Think again. Hailing from the suburbs of Chicago, Fall Out Boy is the rare group that transcends its roots in quick-cooking hardcore and Speedy Gonzalez-fast pop-punk. In particular, the quartet’s harmony-happy sophomore effort, 2003’s Take This to Your Grave, is filled with lyrics loaded with startling acrimony (Let’s play this game called “when you catch fire”/I wouldn’t piss to put you out) and clever longing (My smile’s an open wound without you … and my hands are tied to pages inked to bring you back).