Before they became one of the longest tenured relevant rock acts in current music (who would have thought?), Fall Out Boy were four dudes who knew what they had and delivered a brand of pop emo that changed the landscape of consumable rock music for the foreseeable future.
Take This to Your Grave comes in hot. Its production is clean and fully realized. Fall Out Boy emerged from the starting line fully formed. I know they technically have another LP before this, and one can argue Cork Tree is their real breakout, but there's no denying they showed up ready to go in 2003. "Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy" is the perfect embodiment of first era FOB; an earworm of a hook that's just wordy enough to be chanted at a show and function as an AIM away message, Stump's incredible voice, and the chunky guitars that defined bigger hits like "Sugar We're Going Down". I do think the guys hadn't quite perfected their formula yet though, so some of this does feel a few notches from perfection in regards to the ensemble truly coming together.
While they had all the tools of the trade and were working out little kinks here and there, the world just wasn't ready for them. Listening to this after spending 15 year with Cork Tree and the following LP's is like finding an old Star Wars toy you didn't know existed. You'd heard about it, but kind of doubted that it'd be as good as your Han Solo, but then you find it and look at it and really sit with it and it's just as cool.