It's difficult to replicate the dancey pop-sensibilities of pop-core front runners Fall Out Boy with the confidence and ease of music industry veterans. Many have tried; few have found more than a boring rumble of droning, predictable hooks.
Forever the Sickest Kids have not only replicated the originality and hook-laden catchiness a la early Fall Out Boy, but somehow they've managed to do it with the speed of fellow dance-core icons Panic at the Disco.
FTSK really only recently popped up on my radar, but they gripped tight and haven't let go of my eardrums for the past several weeks with their debut full-length, entitled Underdog Alma Mater.
I said it in 2003 when Fall Out Boy tore through the underground and into the limelight. I said it again in 2005 when Panic! at the Disco (pre-exclamation-point-removal) shred the lines between dance and pop-punk. I'm saying it at least one more time, for those who are keeping track: Forever the Sickest Kids are the next big thing.
It looks like I got beat to the punch on this one: Universal Motown signed 'em in mid 2007. They released an EP called "Television Off, Party On," which I remember seeing briefly and ignoring, until a week ago when they released UAM.
Thank god for the Alternative Press Tour and Fearless Records' recent compilation Punk Goes Crunk (it deserves a look, check it out) -- otherwise, FTSK might never have made it to my speakers.
Apparently, Universal Motown stumbled into a bidding war after FTSK's undeniably catchy "Hey Brittany" was recorded and posted on Purevolume. Take a listen to "Hey Brittany," and you'll soon understand why the song received an enormous amount of entirely warranted attention. Where old Panic lacks is incorporating the dance beat seamlessly into the heavy, quick rhythms of its punkiness; FTSK more than makes up for it with a natural integration that flows flawlessly through the expanse of the non-stop ear-gasmic progression of this album.
Translated: buy this album nownownow.
Check out the video for "Whoa Oh (Me vs. Everyone)" here. Unfortunately, embedding is disabled so you're going to have to leave me for this one. It's a great song, but go for the gold with "Hey Brittany," the demo version of which is posted on the band's myspace page.
Or, you know, you could just go out and buy the album.
"All I, all I really wanted was a good job / A nine-to-five never seemed to cut it / Was too wrapped up in her to be working like that."
-- Forever the Sickest Kids, "Phone Call"