The latest salvo in the internecine let-them-fight war between millennials and boomers comes from Fall Out Boy, who just covered Billy Joel’s headache-inducing earworm “We Didn’t Start the Fire” with an update of events that have transpired in the decades since the song’s release in 1989.
Where Joel’s day-zero cringegasm (take it from me, folks — I was in high school at the time) at least makes its references chronologically, Fall Out Boy’s update is all over the map. John Wayne Bobbitt (1993) gets coupled with the Boston Marathon bombing that happened 20 years later. I can’t tell if “Keaton Batman/Bush v. Gore” means the 1989 Tim Burton movie or The Flash, but either way, they’re at least a decade apart.
Even worse is the tastelessness in lyrics like “Shinzo Abe blown away,” then rhyming George Floyd with Metroid. Listening to this made me feel as unhappy as Hank Hill in the King of the Hill episode about religious rock: “You’re not making Christianity any better, you’re just making rock ’n’ roll worse!”
Anyway, the single is available now. Listen if you dare; we really don’t recommend it. If you can manage to forgive them for doing this, Fall Out Boy is on tour in North America (Dallas tonight, Phoenix on Friday) this summer, and Europe in the fall.