‘Pax Am Days’ seems to have come out of nowhere. I literally knew nothing about it until last week and finally listened to it yesterday. Turns out it’s pretty good and it’s definitely different.
Following up a power-pop album that featured a duet with Elton John with a 14 minute, 8 song punk EP definitely seems a little strange, but over their last few studio albums Fall Out Boy have embraced their weirdness, and in doing so stopped giving a shit what people make of them or their music. ‘Pax Am Days’ just reinstates this, being short, sharp and fun above all else. Think The Sex Pistols and The Clash instead of Maroon 5 and The Wanted. It’s as far from ‘Save Rock And Roll’ as possible in that sense, seeing the band take a U-turn and return to their hazy punk roots. It definitely sounds odd, and it’s hard to take seriously following their latest effort, but isn’t that what punk music is? A complete disregard for what’s expected? If so, then bravo Fall Out Boy.
Musically ‘Pax Am Days’ is eight very short punchy and angsty songs, that still sound like Fall Out Boy, mostly because of Stump’s noticeable vocal delivery. Expect fast drums and distorted simple guitar work. None of its particularly memorable, or exceptionally good, but it just reminds the audience that there’s more to Wentz and Co than sunshine choruses and synths. The shout-along ‘Love, Sex, Death’ comes straight out of the mid 80’s and ‘We Were Doomed From The Start’ is punk music down to a T. Longest track ‘Caffeine Cold’, is catchy and energetic, and probably the best track here.
The quality doesn’t really matter, and it shouldn’t, because ‘Pax Am Days’ isn’t meant to be appreciated. It’s just meant to be, if that makes sense. The band have never shied away from experimentation, and the EP is just a fun bonus for fans new and old. For me, ‘Pax Am Days’ just serves as a lighthearted throwback to the music of yesteryear, and it shouldn’t be taken seriously in light of the bands recent success and controversy. Fall Out Boy never fail to surprise, and I’d recommend picking it up just to see what you take from it.
Rating – 7/10