Category Archives: out

Fall Out Boy; A Reasonable, Unbiased Analysis

by anti-folk hero

If you live in America and you’re not locked in a dungeon somewhere, you’ll most likely have heard of Fall Out Boy. Thanks to the advertising machine, you can find their name plastered to the pages of magazines like Rolling Stone and Teen Crush. I recently found myself bad mouthing them when I had an epiphany – I had never even listened to Fall Out Boy! In an optimistic moment I thought, maybe I’m assuming too much and should let the music speak for itself.

I pulled up the video for “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” on YouTube and watched it. The song was surprisingly catchy. While the words were mainly incomprehensible, the melody and style were in the vein of nineties southern California punk bands that I’d grown up listening to like the Get Up Kids, Face to Face and Nofx. Getting a bit hard, I pulled up a copy of the lyrics. I’ve pasted a copy of them below. Let’s take a look at the lyrical insights Fall Out Boy has to offer the music world.


“This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race”

I am an arms dealer
Fitting you with weapons in the form of words

· The whole “arms dealer” fitting you with “weapons in the form of words” sounds like an angry 14 year old that gets off on violence. ZZZZZZZz. Boring. Maybe the entity being fitted with the “word weapons” is the record company that gets a direct emotional link with young, confused, pubescent kids by shamelessly promoting this band like an indie rock 98 Degrees.

And don’t really care which side wins
As long as the room keeps singing

· This is a subversive lyric. Not caring who wins isn’t cool, its just lazy. The Beasties at least told you to fight for your right to party and John Lennon tried to put the word out that “all we are saying is give peace a chance.” You guys can’t give peace a chance cause you’re incapable of giving a shit. Nothing to say and no reason to say it. Message-less rock at its best!

That’s just the business I’m in, yeah

· This purposeless 5th line sounds like a discarded lyric by BTO.

This ain’t a scene, it’s a goddamned arms race
This ain’t a scene, it’s a goddamned arms race
This ain’t a scene, it’s a goddamned arms race
I’m not a shoulder to cry on
But I digress

· Please, don’t digress. Your lecture on this “goddamned arms race” was so racy and controversial that I almost felt a surge of revolutionary pride. Oh yeah, and way to reinforce the tough guy, emotionally repressed stereotype on a new generation of people. And wtf are you talking about anyway? What ain’t a scene? Your music video? And don’t worry, no one wants to cry on your shoulder. You’re a dangerous arms dealer with those “word weapons.” Scary!

I’m a leading man
And the lies I weave are oh so intricate,
Oh so intricate

· What exactly is “oh so intricate” about anything you have said thus far? Was it your doctoral thesis on the misnomer of “scene” when in fact this is “a goddamned arms race?” Or is it your artistic use of the fifth line? Maybe its your blasé, “don’t care who wins” attitude that has no doubt helped you to reach new zeniths of lazy, taco bell indulgence. And if you’re lying, does that mean that you really do give a shit? All of these “oh so intricate” lies and really hitting me deep, man. R’speck.

I wrote the gospel on giving up
(You look pretty sinking)

· Writing the gospel…wait a second…are you a religious group? I bet you guys are backed by some serious religious interests. Nice way to explain your lazy, do-nothing-for-anyone-but-yourself lifestyles. The “look pretty sinking line” sounds like emo babble. Pretty, sinking, suicidal innuendo, sexual fantasy revolving around death perhaps? Eh, Couldn’t be that deep.

But the real bombshells have already sunk
(Primadonnas of the gutter)

· Meaningless lines. Drowning analogies are lame.

At night we’re painting your trash gold while you sleep
Crashing not like hips or cars*,
No, more like p-p-p-parties

· Do you enjoy painting my trash gold? Cause that sounds like one boring activity. But because you do it while I sleep, its mischevious. Also, kudos on your creative use of the word “crashing.” The double entendre was philosophical and deep.

This ain’t a scene, it’s a goddamned arms race
This ain’t a scene, it’s a goddamned arms race
This ain’t a scene, it’s a goddamned arms race
This bandwagon’s full
Please, catch another

· The last two lines sound like jock culture tenets. Something that a snooty seventh grader would pompously say to a kid with thick glasses before beating him up.

I’m a leading man
And the lies I weave are oh so intricate,
Oh so intricate

· Every time you say this, you say “oh so intricate” twice, then you repeat it, which makes it four times. Oh, and a quick tip – saying that the lies you weave are intricate doesn’t make it true. You’re not exactly Eminem.


· Keep the room singin’ (or snorin’).

All the boys who the dance floor didn’t love
And all the girls whose lips couldn’t move fast enough

· That dance floor is one mean motherfucker. Lips can’t move fast enough for what? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? Answer = absolutelyfuckingnothing.

Sing, until your lungs give out

· Hey, you know what? I think I’d like to hear that chorus for a third time! Anyone else? Any?

This ain’t a scene, it’s a goddamned arms race
This ain’t a scene, it’s a goddamned arms race
(Now you)
This ain’t a scene, it’s a goddamned arms race
(Wear out the groove)

· Wear the groove? That sounds cool, I guess. Gotta throw in a “hip” vinyl reference.

This ain’t a scene, it’s a goddamned arms race
(Sing out loud)
This ain’t a scene, it’s a goddamned arms race
(Oh, oh)
This ain’t a scene, it’s a goddamned arms race

I’m a leading man
And the lies I weave are oh so intricate,
Oh so intricate

· Ok, I get it, you’re so smart and your lies are “oh so intricate, oh so intricate” times two. Was it necessary to tell me this a total fo 12 times over the course of the song? Jesus, at least paraphrase. Maybe this has something to do with your distaste for reading books (explained below).

As you can completely objectively see, the lyrics are trite, repetative and full of negative reinforcement. Why should you care who wins as long as the party keeps on going? I did feel attacked at first by their dangerous word bombs but ended the song feeling like I just sat through a three hour bar mitzvah.

So how do I connect the bad lyrics with the song that I liked? Why would a band that sounds so good have so little to say? To answer these questions, I turned to the internet to find interviews with the band. Maybe hearing what they had to say would give me an insight into who they were. Here are some excerpts.

Bradley: If you had to label yourself in a musical category would you suck it up and take it like a man, throw a temper tantrum like a child, or debate about it endlessly like a senior citizen?

FOB: Categories are for the library and I ain’t no bookworm.

· Spoken like a person who has never even read a book. Way to be cool, asshole.

What is the songwriting process like with Fall Out Boy?

PW: I write words all the time and give them to [Stump] when he’s writing music. He’s writing music all the time, too.

PS: It’s like, we’re not in bands because we want the MTV. We’re in bands because we enjoy doing it. Whenever I’m not doing interviews, I’m probably writing music and he’s writing words, and at any given moment we’re putting something together.

Can you believe they asked them about their songwriting process? “We just write songs ‘n shit.” That’s oh so intricate of you. My theory is that Fall Out Boy is a tool of the US government. The devil isn’t a fat guy in a red suit with a tail and a pitchfork, he’s a Homeland Security-backed band with nothing to say. If they didn’t have a catchy sound, they would be inconsequential and thus their words would be limp dicked weapons. I’m surprised that a guy named Stump thinks that he has a way with words. Maybe its a penis reference, denoting his “stump-like” cock. Or perhaps he was an extra on King of the Hill before making it big in the music industry?

I think that upon signing their lives over to Island Records they also signed over creative control to some third party, most likely a committee of elderly white men in robes chanting in tongues. They, in turn, wrote lyrics that would not inspire people to speak out but would instead keep people from wanting to speak out. They control what we’re allowed to hear. When you’re being lied to by your leaders, ignorance becomes pro-government. Now that I’ve outed Fall Out Boy, its time to get the word out. Keep music about the music. Love the music but hate the words, dudes! Buy yourself a Dylan record. I suggest Blonde on Blonde.

To be fair, here’s the video. Judge for yourself.



Filed under antifolk, barn, barn stormer, barnstormer, boy, car crash, car crash heart, criticism, fall, fall out boy, infinity on high, music, out, stormer