Leaving the monochrome despair of The Black Parade well and truly in their dust, My Chemical Romance have burst back onto the scene with Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, a brilliant rainbow-coloured radio transmission from a post-apocalyptic California in the year 2019. From the moment that the kids in the Chem camp started whispering of yet another concept for fans to immerse themselves in, the buzz snowballed fast, and finally, they have delivered the album that has not just been anticipated, but desperately longed for and craved.
Employing every trick they have available to them in order to paint their bleak picture of the future, My Chemical Romance use narration, artwork and sound effects at every opportunity, and still the album doesn’t quite explode the way you want it to. ‘Bulletproof Heart’ at first listen feels weak and you can’t help but feel almost cheated, having waited so long only to find something lacking; it’s like waking up on Christmas morning with a new toy and no batteries to make it go. The few songs that succeed are almost disappointingly safe, but glimmers of the passion one would expect from My Chemical Romance shine through.
‘Sing’, the soon to be second single from the album, though bold and ambitious, sounds like it would be at home on a 30 Seconds to Mars record, stirring up images of booming arena show sing along that will be inevitable once the New Jersey boys hit the stage again.
Typically MCR and full of surprises, about halfway through, the album finally grows a pair and gets to the ass kicking that was promised in the opening monologue. Ray Toro’s spectacular guitar playing is wonderfully showcased in the attitude filled anthem ‘Party Poison’- previously known to us lucky enough to see them at The Roxy or Summersonic in 2009 as Death Before Disco.
The company My Chemical Romance have been keeping of late is obvious at times, moments in ‘Planetary (GO!)’ reek of Mindless Self Indulgence, bringing with it a light hearted feeling that sometimes lacks in Chem’s back catalogue and hard-hitting album highlight ‘Destroya’ is the ultimate rock song, which only begs the question, where was all of this edge earlier on?
Closing track ‘Vampire Money’ is an indignant salute to those who insinuated or expected the band would cash in on the latest trend like almost everybody else has. Boasting the confidence they posses in the music they’re making and their vision for what MCR stand for, the song is a faith restorer and Gerard Way’s vocals are better than they’ve ever been, leaving the album on a high and instilling an urge to hit repeat.
Danger Days ultimately grows on you with familiarity regardless of whether you buy into the circus surrounding the album release or not. Whether art is your weapon, or music is what you fit into your spare time, the passion of the music is inspirational and it might take two listens or twelve, but eventually you’ll be recruited into the folds of the thousands of other killjoys.