There comes a time when any iconic album from a band’s back catalogue hits a new milestone – today it’s Fall Out Boy’s ‘Take This To Your Grave’, which was released 15 (yes, FIFTEEN) years ago. The Chicago outfit’s 2003 debut album ushered in an entire new genre-blurring aspect to the alternative/pop-punk scene at the time. The LP saw heavy riffs, with a sprinkling of screamo, all mixed with the lethal cocktail of teenage angst, yearning, and heartbreak. ‘Take This To Your Grave’ is the album that cemented Fall Out Boy’s future in the music industry before sophomore LP ‘From Under The Cork Tree’ would send them stratospheric to unimaginable heights of success. Ultimately, the release of ‘Take This To Your Grave’ was pivotal for Fall Out Boy, despite not necessarily being regarded as their most loved or most popular album, and it still holds a place in the hearts of fans.
Commercially, ‘Take This To Your Grave’ didn’t do well – it didn’t actually chart until almost a year after its initial release and eventually peaked at No. 11 in January 2005 in the US, and 96 in the UK. Regardless, reviews of the album show it a lot of respect, and it is clear it has left a lasting impression. For a pop-punk record, ‘Take This To Your Grave’ has it all – angsty lyrics about hating your hometown and everyone in it, a dialogue on teenage relationships, some screamo dotted throughout, and a relentless thrashing energy. It’s home to hits like ‘Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy’, and ‘Dead on Arrival’, as well as ‘Saturday’, the song that even to this day Fall Out Boy still close their sets with. ‘Saturday’ is the quintessential alternative anthem, the lyrics were penned by Pete Wentz and are pensive and reflective, whilst his screams towards the end of the track project chaos. ‘Grand Theft Autumn’ was the second single to be released, and deals with themes of jealousy and unrequited love, but it was not until the mainstream breakthrough success of their follow up album that it gained popularity.
Whilst ‘Take This To Your Grave’ may not have been the album that made Fall Out Boy explode into the popular music charts, it is no doubt hailed as one of the album that made Fall Out Boy who they are. In the world of alternative music it has left a lasting legacy. From the outset, ‘Take This To Your Grave’ delivers non-stop energy and witty lyricism and quips at relationships gone awry, with lines like ‘Let’s play this game called when you catch fire / I wouldn’t piss on you to put you out’. Same.
Since 2003, Fall Out Boy have released a further six albums, been on hiatus, and undergone several inevitable genre changes, but this first born album still stands the test of time. ‘Take This To Your Grave’ serves as a manual for all the melodrama of your teenage years, a guide on how to get over absolutely everything that, at the time, feels utterly unbearable. ‘Take This To Your Grave’ is and always will be a valuable and well loved source of nostalgia for the early alternative music scene, having a lasting influence on the records that followed.