Hello, I’m MusiCommentator, and this week, Fall Out Boy released a surprise EP, and since I had nothing else slated to post, I decided it would be fun to talk about this.
So, Fall Out Boy is a band I have a deep connection with. I have done a post about them in the past where I ranked all their albums, so I would definitely check that out if you have the time. However, I can say that I attribute them to be the first band to get me into music. They have always had a massive appeal, and while they might not have the most consistent discography, I am always willing to listen to whatever they put out.
Needless to say, I was surprised when this EP (or, as they call it, “single”) came out. They released it the day after they announced it, and if I know anything, Fall Out Boy is usually the kind of band to milk a few singles before they put out any kind of project. I was excited to listen to the EP when I saw its release, but I had my worries. I ranked their latest album, “M A N I A”, last on my ranking. For only being ten songs long, the project was an overly-bloated commercial sellout which contained tracks that ranged from utterly boring to incessantly sugary. While there were a couple decent tracks on it, most fans agree that it was a bad album. Therefore, Fall Out Boy had two discernible routes to take with this EP: 1) they could stray from their pop path and try to make something they feel passionate about, or 2) they could stay on their pop path and release b-sides from “M A N I A”. Going in, I hoped it was the former, but we’ll have to see.
#1: Lake Effect Kid
Starting off this 3-song EP is the title track “Lake Effect Kid”. Right on the first note, I was surprised by this song. This track decides to skip all the pop synths and programmed drums to give us a throwback track. Yes, Fall Out Boy finally gave us something that sounds like it comes from their Golden Age! I swear, this would fit in perfectly with “From Under The Cork Tree” or “Infinity On High”, and I love it! The instrumentals definitely recapture that pop-punk-emo sound from that era, and it feels infinitely refreshing to get a piece of work like this from them. Fall Out Boy sometimes seems to have a problem of now knowing what their fans want, but they hit the nail spot on with this track. The lyrics try to hint towards that era, too. While it does not pan out all the time (like in the almost nonsensical bridge), they come through in the chorus and make a comprehensive piece to sing along to. The chorus states “Boomerang my head/Back to the city I grew up in/Again and again/Forever a Lake Effect Kid”, which works perfectly for the nostalgic feel this song is going for. Fall Out Boy finally made a track their fans wanted to hear, and I can only hope the next two songs are like this one.
#2: City In A Garden
On the second track, Fall Out Boy makes a personal ode to their hometown, confidently shouting “I love you Chicago” in the chorus. We can see the band feeling very lost and almost in a rut in the verses, but they know their home will accept them. The motif of “home” in this song is a good way to describe the theme of this entire EP. The instrumentals to this EP go away from the throwback style the first track set up, instead going for anthemic drums and light guitars that almost resemble an Imagine Dragons song. While it does sound a bit cheesy at points, with the drums making it feel almost too dramatic, I think this is a pretty great song, as you can really tell Fall Out Boy felt the message they were delivering. A great ode to a great city!
#3: Super Fade
Fall Out Boy rounds off this EP with a very powerful and hard-hitting track that I did not see coming. I was very skeptical when the song started off with those basic pop synths, but the song quickly won me over with Patrick Stump’s impassioned vocals. Honestly, his singing here is the best on all three of these songs, especially in that “I should’ve known better” chorus. You can hear how much effort he was putting into it. Not only that, but this song has a pretty killer beat breakdown. Now, Fall Out Boy has not been the best with breakdowns like this, as their worst song of all time (“Young and Menace”) was ruined by a horrendous breakdown, but this one does it right. It is surely a step above “Young and Menace”. No, this is a whole staircase above that song! The breakdown has a mixture of wailing guitars and fast drums that make it an undeniably fun listen. It’s not perfect, as some of the instrumental interludes in the breakdown feel a bit out of place (like that downward guitar/violin/bass that appears towards the end of the breakdowns), but it has very few downsides. This was a great way to end the EP!
The release of this EP was surprising, so I guess it should make sense that the content within it is surprising, too. It’s a pretty great return-to-form! While only one song really does sound like their old tracks would have–that being the title track–the whole vibe of this project really shows that they were trying to make genuinely great music. I guess the whole thing being dedicated to Chicago (which is my hometown) also helps, but there are so many things to like here. The instrumentals were all awesome, and the emotion of the project runs throughout it. The only real complaint I have is the lyrics, and that comes with a few cachés. I believe I said in my ranking post that their old lyrics had a dark wit and humor to them, and their newer lyrics felt like they were trying to capture that, but they ended up sounding more cryptic than anything. This EP leans a bit more towards the cryptic side, but this is only a problem in a few of the parts of the EP.
My favorite track on here is probably “Super Fade”. I had a real hard time picking a favorite because it sounds like I’m discrediting the others. I will say that all of the songs are so good that they’re almost all equal in quality, but “Super Fade” beats the others by a little margin. Stump’s vocals on here are amazing, and the band was able to correct something that they couldn’t do just last year, so I praise the song for that. My least favorite, then, would be “City In A Garden”. Again, it earned this title by such a small margin that it’s hard to call it my least favorite, but I has the least appeal to me compared to the other songs, so I have to call it that.
Overall, I would give this EP a 9 out of 10. Do you agree?
Thank you for reading my “Lake Effect Kid” EP/Single review. If you liked this review, make sure to follow my website, Twitter, and Instagram, like this post, and be sure to check in to read my future reviews. Also, if you have something you want to see me review, tell me in the comments. Until then, keep on listening to good music! I know I will.