My Chemical Romance "Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys" Review — 5 out of 5 Stars
Tue, 09 Nov 2010 14:05:57
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Strap in tight because My Chemical Romance's new album, Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys [Available 11/22], is one hell of a ride. In fact, My Chemical Romance thrust all engines towards the future and create a landmark record in the process. It's a record that's as paranoid as it is poignant. It's as fiery as it is focused. It's as clever as it is classic. The beauty of the Danger Days roller coaster is that it could derail at any moment, but it's glued together by the ultimate 21st century rock band.
There's officially no doubt about it, My Chemical Romance are The Who for the Facebook generation. If 2006's The Black Parade was their Tommy, then Danger Days is their Quadrophenia. Danger Days showcases an honest evolution from The Black Parade. Where Parade relied on more traditional instrumentation, Danger Days flexes just the right amount of electronic muscle. However, the band still knows where to place the right teeth-kicking riff. The album snaps to life with the first single "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)." After the "Look Alive, Sunshine" intro, the trip through the California desert of 2019 commences with a bang.
With airtight guitars from Ray Toro and Frank Iero, the track stomps brandishing funked-out flare, kickstarting the album fittingly. Mikey Way revs up verse with a thumping bass line as Gerard Way cycles in and out, flawlessly screaming apocalyptically poetic lyrics. Employing the desert imagery and radio liners, Danger Days definitely evokes Queens of the Stone Age's Songs for the Deaf. However, My Chemical Romance replace QOTSA's stoned bliss with a futuristic grit that's even a bit more Blade Runner than Mad Max.
After a lullaby-esque opening "Bulletproof Heart" sails from a saccharine melody into flourishes of distorted electro. A searing guitar solo flutters over the desert landscape as Way croons entrancingly on the hook. "SING" forms a brilliant sonic tapestry of Way's lyrics and the mounting synth hum. It's anthemic, operatic and elegant all at once. Then there's "Planetary (GO!)", which is as danceable is at is deadly. Blending a '70s arena rock bounce and propulsive electronics, the song would be perfect for some outer space night club. It's also got one of Way's most sardonic and sharp lyrical jabs—"Fame is now injectable." He was a born storyteller and he continues that traditionally over the course of the album's 15 traps.
"The Only Hope for Me Is You" illustrates just how far My Chemical Romance have come. From the warm buildup of colorful tones to the myriad of textures, everything resounds pristinely. Then Way carries a hook to the very heavens and back, singing like he's never sang. The engines stay fired up on "Party Poison" via the punky snaked-out harmonies and staggering hook. "S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W" goes from an eerie nearly robotic verse into an overpowering falsetto from Way, before it drops down into a dreamy mid-song lead over Led Zeppelin-style acoustic guitars.
"Summertime" may very well be the ballad of the year. There's a John Hughes feel to its wonderfully whimsical lilting lyrics. However, My Chemical Romance can still crush. "DESTROYA" bashes the sense with a spastic yet succinct groove and more jagged guitar battering. "The Kids from Yesterday" rolls into an oblivion of colorful textures and tones, while "Vampire Money" is one last hurrah for space punks everywhere.
Like any great work of art—music, film or painting—Danger Days demands multiple listens. That's why it's so goddamn good. My Chemical Romance's Danger Days start now, and will last forever…
Are you excited for Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys?
Enter our exclusive My Chemical Romance for your chance to win a Danger Days prize pack here!
If you haven't yet, also be sure to check out our interview with Lindsey Way here!