Make no mistake: this is a biased review.
I’ve been listening to My Chemical Romance since Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge and have loved both subsequent albums. MCR’s approach to music was unique in that they became the music on each album. They were the Killjoys, they were the Black Parade.
I also recently caught up with Way’s comic book writing work on The Umbrella Academy – an ultra-violent gothic sci-fi superhero affair. In the creation of the comic book, Way similarly became engrossed with the world of the Umbrella Academy in order to give each character a unique voice – all while touring for The Black Parade. It’s obvious that that kind of approach to your art is going to take it’s toll and must surely have been a contributing factor in the demise of My Chemical Romance.
Way has returned with a new album that contains all of the swagger and bluster of MCR, but he’s dialled back the big plot-lines. That’s not to say it lacks the same creativity as his previous works; each track channels a slightly different persona and takes a different approach to the guitar rock genre. It talks of life on the road with the band and that feeling of being an ‘alien’ in another land that the album title alludes to.
From the sludgy stomping opener The Bureau you could be forgiven for thinking that this album is going to be a very different affair, but Action cat is up next and sets the record straight with a pop-punk volley that could be straight off of Danger Days.
No Shows follows along in a similar fashion – another catchy, crowd pleaser for the fans. Brother changes up the tempo a bit, opening with the piano and slowly building into one of the albums best singalong numbers.
Other highlights include Get The Gang Together, a massive anthemic call to arms and the uplifting How It’s Going To Be.
I’m sure after a few more listens I’ll discover other favourites among those, and am fully prepared discover more on every listen. It’s addictive listening, so putting it on repeat is no hardship.