Pax Am Days, Fall Out Boy's surprise "album," is a surprise in more ways than one. Fall Out Boy is a band notorious for their meticulousness and their long battles over melody and lyrics. Patrick Stump and Pete Wentz have been known to argue about the placement of a syllable for days. ButPax Am Days is a rough, true-to-punk, glorious car crash of an album. WhereSave Rock and Roll was evidence of the growth Fall Out Boy needed to come back together, Pax Am Daysis proof that the boys have rediscovered the joy in making music together.
The longest song, "Caffeine Cold," is two and a half minutes, but most run about a minute and a half, packing in as much energy and ferocious guitar riffing as possible. What separates this album from a run of the mill punk bonanza is Patrick Stump's vocals, which are in their Infinity On High glory, deep and reverberating over massive chords from Joe Trohman and adrenaline shot basslines from Pete Wentz. Andy Hurley's hardcore roots are in their prime here, and the power that was missing from Save Rock and Roll's drum loops works in overtime here.
The song most similar to classic Fall Out Boy form is probably "Hot To The Touch, Cold On The Inside," which showcases the lyrical prowess that is often missing from punk songs.
Pax Am Days is a return to the hardcore influences that birthed Take This To Your Grave, but with a higher level of refinement and skill that Fall Out Boy has become known for bringing to the pop punk scene.