Fall Out Boy

At the start of Infinity on High, Fall Out Boy's latest, label head Jay-Z declares, "What you critics say will never happen!" -- a statement meant to make Pete Wentz and company seem like the sort of act reviewers habitually bash. Actually, mainstream music writers have been fairly kind to the Boys, albeit in a singularly unconvincing way. Lotsa scribes overpraise acts that achieve sudden popularity because they don't want to seem out of touch with the public, which explains why Hootie and the Blowfish once earned raves. Not that Fall Out Boy bites quite that hard. Infinity is to real punk what Velveeta is to gourmet cheese, but tunes like "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" are as catchy as they are lyrically tame. Bottom line, there are plenty of more annoying groups for thirteen-year-old girls to love than FOB, which is joined on this bill by +44, The Academy Is... and Paul Wall. Jay-Z should save his righteous indignation for someone who needs it.


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