Consider the emo. Right gnarly old bugger it were, back in the early ’90s; a bawling, petulant nipper of a scene having its existential nappy rash seen to by angry ex-teenage drug addicts with goatees, a history of institutionalisation and combat trousers stuffed with applications to divorce their own parents. They were called things like Suicide Next Sunday and Have My Balls In A Box Julie Garrison, Why Don’t You and they were shite. Then the Blink kids board-jacked the whole thing and ollied it overground and the teen emo ‘dream’ filled arenas – by festival it was Green Day and Jimmy Eat World; by bedroom, Dashboard Confessional and swearing lifelong oaths against alcohol in all its diabolic forms. Then came My Chemical Romance to re-introduce the Keatsian romanticism and wonky eyeliner to the mix and now we have Fall Out Boy – arguably the first ever ‘designer emo’ band, but certainly an imacculately conceived tangle of teen-friendly pop sensibility and parent-inflicted P.A.I.N.
Punk-pop riffage? Why sir, have a juggernaut-load. Angsty paeans on the inconstancy of woman? How does “Why don’t you show me the little bit of spine/You’ve been saving for his mattress, love” suit your multi-pierced palate? ‘Dance, Dance’ fair cracks along, spitting chucka-chucka guitars, double-tracked ‘emoting’ and barbs of torment from every orifice: here FOB concoct a precision perfect vision of Mainstremo, all the intellect of the early emo garglers lashed to the New Breed’s firey tuneage. Dance? You’ll barely remember the sting of daddy’s belt.