Sunday marked the tenth anniversary of Fall Out Boy’s classic album From Under the Cork Tree.
We won’t be getting a retrospective tour from the band however, who recently vowed in Rolling Stone to never play their classic albums straight through.
The band has plenty on their plate at the moment in any case, with their 2015 comeback effort American Beauty/American Psycho scaling the charts with an eclectic modern pop sound.
But what is it that makes From Under the Cork Tree such a touchstone for the band, or at least, for their fans?
It was certainly their breakthrough release, marking their first top ten album and single position in the US charts.
The album captured a band fired up to make the mainstream take notice, but also not ashamed of their pop punk and hardcore roots, which gave the songs a harder-hitting edge.
Lead single Sugar, We’re Goin Down hit #8 on the US and UK charts and also features a mean guitar-slinging breakdown in the bridge. How many other bands could have pulled that off?
Fall Out Boy’s label told the band to scrap the song, citing its wordy lyrics and heavy guitars as being a barrier to radio success.
Thank God the band stuck to their guns. If you’ve ever heard the fans sing back the lyrics to the band live you know who had the right of it.
Later efforts certainly displayed an expanded sound, but with the exception of 2008’s Folie à Deux, the band rarely managed to hit the mark so consistently throughout a full-length.
From Under the Cork Tree managed to stand out from the pop punk pack with a varied palette, but it avoided becoming self-indulgent.
Neal Avron handled production duties with aplomb. The album sounds punchy and in-your-face, capturing the live feel of the band’s performances.
While the band rarely get showy with their musicianship, it’s no secret that Fall Out Boy are all excellent musicians, and great individual input drives the carefully crafted songs on the album.
From Under the Cork Tree was the second album for which bassist Pete Wentz wrote all the lyrics, and it marks the point where the band grew fully into their song-writing abilities.
The lyrics are raw and cut deep, documenting a dark time in Wentz’s life, as evidenced by suicide attempt made shortly after the album was recorded.
We’re unlikely to hear anything like it again from the band, but it’s true that the greatest artists have a tendency never to repeat themselves and their legacy is often for the better because of it.