Fall Out Boy- ‘Mania’ (Album Review)

Fall Out Boy have released their long awaited 7th album ‘Mania’ after months of teasing (and being a wonderful band and giving us 5 singles to get us warmed up for it). Their style of music has changed considerably from early albums ‘Take This To Your Grave’ and ‘From Under The Cork Tree’ to their last album ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’, inserting dance and pop influences and twisting them into their own take on rock music that ends up working so perfectly.

I have just listened to ‘Mania’ from start to finish and let me tell you, it has been a while since I have absolutely loved an ENTIRE album as quickly as I have with ‘Mania’. It runs so well from track to track and you already feel like you know the album because half the tracks off it have already been released for a while. The first song off the album, ‘Young and Menace’, was released back in April and I’ll admit it took me a couple of listens before I understood and properly liked ‘Young and Menace’. The style of it, the warped mess of layers of vocals and instruments- you need a minute to gather yourself because that song is so different from any Fall Out Boy song, you don’t expect them to come out with something like that and pull it off so well. ‘Young and Menace’ embodies the album title and when you listen to it you’ll know what I mean in a better sense than if I were to describe it to you. It’s messy, parts of it sound deranged but then return to calm, however it still makes you feel good when it finishes.

The two main songs off the album that I have been loving and have been my go-to songs to listen to for a couple of months now are, ‘Last Of The Real Ones’ and ‘HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T’. They both just make me so happy and so excited, I can go into my own little world whilst listening to them, definitely two of Fall Out Boy’s best most recent songs. ‘HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T’ has that catchy, holiday sounding part in the chorus and ‘Last Of The Real Ones’ is so powerful, showing of Patrick Stump’s voice to perfection. I hope they play both those songs on their UK tour so I can properly have a dance to them.

Later on in the album, it gets a bit more interesting, a little bit more different. After all those really energetic and fast-paced songs comes ‘Heaven’s Gate’ and when I was listening to this it caught me off guard. Of course it sounds incredible, because the slow, soul style of the song fits Patrick Stump’s vocals beautifully. It carries you away, and immediately reminded me of ‘What A Catch, Donnie’ from ‘Folie a Deux’. Fall Out Boy always do this type of song so well, and shows how much of a versatile, talented band they are.

All the songs off this album are equally as good as each other and this album has impressed me greatly. With a band like Fall Out Boy, there’s always so much pressure riding on them to make the next album as brilliant as the one before. The expectations are always so high, but they smash them each time they put out a new record. ‘Mania’ is awesome, it’s another development in ‘Fall Out Boy’ history and I will definitely be going back and listening to it on repeat to get myself hyped up for their Manchester show in March.

‘Mania’ is available to order now through Amazon, iTunes and to buy in stores.

You can also stream it through Spotify or Apple Music.

Information and tickets for their upcoming tour can be found here: https://falloutboy.com/tour/  

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Song Review: ‘Heaven’s Discrepancies’ by The Empire Police

‘Heaven’s Discrepancies’ is the latest single to be released by Preston-based band The Empire Police, and upon first listen, does not disappoint. It is a wonderfully upbeat and energetic song, with an incredible catchy chorus. It’s what I like to call bubblegum sounding, like it could easily fit into an American teen comedy film.
The bass-line in the bridge sounds heavily influenced by Green Day, reminiscent of the bass-line in their song ‘Chump’ from 1994 album, Dookie.
‘Heaven’s Discrepancies’ is short but sweet, where every good thing you want from a song is packed into it 2:10 minute timeframe. You don’t get bored of it, and it’s that right amount of punk-style repetitive which makes it instantly stick in your brain.
The song, as a whole, sounds like the product of what you would get if the Kaiser Chiefs and The Hoosiers were put in a blender. That indie-pop-punk genre which was huge in the mid-2000’s.
‘Heaven’s Discrepancies’ is noticeably different in comparison to their other recently released tracks, such as ‘Yesterday’ and their self-titled E.P ‘The Empire Police’. It’s refreshing when bands do this because it shows versatility. The Empire Police are showing that they are capable of switching from laid-back, Northern indie-rock, to fast paced alternative pop-rock; and do it extremely well.
If you like what you hear and want more, The Empire Police are playing at The Soup Kitchen, Manchester on the 18th November with Scruff Of The Neck Records.
Tickets are available through Ticket Alien: https://www.musicglue.com/ticketalien/events/9f9ff7d0-63e6-0135-c797-2603ee79f6ff

‘Heaven’s Discrepancies’ is available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes. 

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1wywbtI5PQjtJaINE7GvUA?si=Fd7OSgrf

The Empire Police Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/theempirepolice/ 

The Return of Blink 182

Today, the music world became electric with excitement, barely keeping a lid on itself. After nearly 5 years since their last full length album, Neighborhoods, Blink 182 have finally announced that their new album’California’ will be released on July 1st of this year. To get fans even more pumped up, they released a new single titled, ‘Bored to Death’, via their Facebook page. I listened to this right before writing this post, and I absolutely love it. ‘Bored to Death’ is very reminiscent of ‘Neighborhoods’, in the sense that it has a more mature vibe to it. They’re not singing about girls or sex or anything crazy like that, it’s them bearing their souls after such a long time and after a rollercoaster 5 years.

Of course, everyone by now knows that the Blink 182 who have come back, are not the Blink 182 from 5 years ago. There has always been a love/hate relationship between the Travis, Mark and Tom, something which has time and time again put a strain on the band. It seemed that, after Neighborhoods was released that everything was okay between the three of them again, yet it didn’t last this way for long. I began to wonder if Tom particularly wanted to stay a part of Blink 182 after seeing their Reading performance on TV in 2014. The vocals from Tom were…like he wasn’t trying that much to give a good performance. It sounded as though he was just speaking the words instead of singing them like Mark was, and there was no attempt to harmonise between them. It just felt flat. There was all this buzz about them headlining, and at first when I watched it I thought something was wrong with the sound quality, but as the performance went on, it was clear that Tom just wasn’t making the effort.

The reason why I was so disappointed was because I went to go see them in 2012 for their 20th Anniversary Tour, and all three members were incredible, pouring their everything into the show. So, only 2 years on to see that the spark had already fizzled out, I honestly thought that we were never going to hear new Blink music again.

However, 2015 comes around and this is the year where Blink 182 hot up again. Tom DeLonge leaves Blink after quite public disagreements with the rest of the band, and Matt Skiba (Alkaline Trio guitarist and singer) is brought in as his replacement. Initially, long term fans were sceptical about having such a prominent member replaced as they saw Blink 182 as always being Mark, Tom and Travis. Although in a very short time, fans quickly warmed to Matt becoming part of Blink, and after listening to ‘Bored To Death’, it’s clear that his vocals suit the style that Blink are going for with ‘California’.

I am incredibly excited about hearing more news to do with this album, and hearing it in full when it comes out on 1st July. Hopefully the spark won’t fizzle out this time.