REVIEW: My Chemical Romance – “Danger Days”

My Chemical Romance / Danger Days.. / Warner

While there might be some lofty storytelling ambitions at work on My Chemical Romance’s recently released conceptual opus Danger Days, a classic anti-establishment message rests at the album’s core that even their most close-minded fans should be able to grasp and appreciate. Taking place in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic corporate dystopia, the new material tells the tale of the heroic Killjoys, a young gang out to sabotage Better Living Industries (BL-ind – get it?), a quasi-militaristic, pharmaceutical corporation that took over after fires swept the continent. It’s an idea that seems ripe for sci-fi movie and video game adaptation, drawing the question: is this really be the same band that united teenage misfits everywhere with the straight forward anthem “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” in 2004?

MCR have a well known knack for creating grand, deeply affective music; that was obvious on The Black Parade, and even as far back as “The Ghost of You”. Danger Days is full of instances where singer Gerard Way is at his most sincere (“SING” and “The Only Hope For Me is You”), but this sentimentality about days gone by is frequently intermingled with a very greasy, nihilistic punk rock energy (“Destroya” and “Party Poison”) that is less World War II romance and more Mad Max misanthropy. It’s this story and this blend of sounds that makes the syrupy love track “Summertime” seem so utterly out of place. It may not be the most fleshed out concept album to be released this year, but, even if it doesn’t improve your disaster preparedness, there’s more than enough here to satisfy your average road warrior.

Download: “Na Na Na”, “Party Poison”

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