CD Review – My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
Release date: Monday November 22, 2010 (Canada and US)
by Jade Sperry
It’s been four years since My Chemical Romance brought out The Black Parade. Since then, many things have changed for this band – relocating to LA, marriages, member changes, children, dogs and a much needed recharging of the batteries. Their newest offering of 15 songs are well crafted, imaginative, mature and artistic in ways that mirror a comic book that has a Mad Max/Thunderdome kind-of-feel to it. To be honest, I thought I wouldn’t like this record but I found myself liking it more and more as I played it over and over in my iPhone while working my hospital job. And I have to admit that I am pleasantly surprised. I hear a lot of influences in all the songs including Abba-like piano/synths chord structures and MSI-like lyrical structure and vocal performances by Gerard Way on the song NA NA NA (NA NA NA…..). I can also hear other influences such as MC5, The Stooges, Metallica and The Beatles (with the more psychedelic aspects of certain melodies). If you think about each of these bands mentioned, you get some idea of how versatile these songs are. I really dig “Party Poison” that begins with Japanese spoken word in a slightly hostile female voice and the punked out chord structures and vocals which has a Ramones feel to it. “Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back” begins with Metallica-like drums for the first 30 seconds or so and Gerard’s vocals are performed really well with an edge to it that I’ve never heard before. And the bridge is downright creepy musically and the growl in the vocals is pretty obvious. And of course, you can’t go wrong with having mofo in there too. “Scarecrow” is one of the better tracks on this CD. Sounding vaguely like The Beatles or the 90’s Canadian band The Tea Party with psychedelic touches on the vocals in particular. “Summertime” has a real pop rock sense musically to it and I also get the feeling this is a song that Gerard has special ties to (When the lights go out/will you take me with you/the highways I call home/with your lip gloss smile). I like the guitars in the bridgework as they are understated but stand out in the melodic rhythm of the song itself. “Destroya” reminds me of Rage Against The Machine at its peak with a bit of awkward rapping and is musically interesting in its rhythm, vocal work, guitar work by both Ray and Frank and some awesome root chord bass structure by Mikey. “Vampire Money” is so crazy, you just have to get up and dance to it. A catchy hook in the melodies that just suck you in, smoking hot guitars in the bridgework and vocals that sing of being a movie star, acting out of control and being on the edge.
The videos have imagery that is comic book like in its look. Here is the official video for “Sing”.
Overall, this is a strong musical return by this band. Welcome back from The Black Parade. I would highly recommend this CD to all the people who don’t like this band. Because this CD takes the band in a more artistically musical direction that will appeal to pretty much anyone who likes hard biting rock and roll with a sprinkle of maturity and a touch of madness.