Monday, 22 November 2010

Album Review: Danger Days - The Fabulous Return of My Chemical Romance

It’s no wonder My Chemical Romance scrapped their first attempt at a fourth album. Whatever it sounded like, it could not have compared to this.

Since My Chemical Romance announced that The Black Parade was dead back in 2007, the MCRmy have been kept in suspense about what to expect from the band’s fourth album and at times, whether they would get a fourth album at all. The making of Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys may well have been rocky - with the band binning their original recordings and starting again – but it was definitely worth the wait. After originally insisting they would not create another concept album, the band then realised that storytelling is what they do best and so Danger Days was born. Set in the year 2019, it follows a gang known as the Killjoys and their Technicolor world of laser guns and desert duals.

Kicking off with a dramatic intro from radio DJ ‘Dr Death Defying’, first single from the record ‘NaNaNa’ explodes onto the scene. At times it may feel like a list of random words strung together in a surreal rant but this infuriatingly catchy tune grips hold of you and throws you head first into the world of the Killjoys.

Dramatically different from The Black Parade, Danger Days is all about rebellious fun. A distinct comic book influence comes in the form of several interjections from Dr Death and the furious party anthem ‘Party Poison’. Although the foundations of classic MCR are there, the boys from New Jersey have experimented with different genres and British influences to glorious effect. ‘Planetary (GO!) sees the band venture into pop/dance with distinct elements of Pulp, ‘Summertime’ has a Cure influenced indie feel whilst ‘Vampire Money’ is very much a raw punk track.

Album highlights come in the form of stunning power ballad ‘S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W’ and the spectacular ‘Sing’ with its spine tingling intro and the type of chorus that could lead a revolution. The equally rebellious ‘Destroya’ is perhaps the defining track on the album. An eclectic mix of crazy jungle drums and subtle elements of rap stinks of Rage Against The Machine.

Danger Days will leave you itching to see it performed live. In fact, My Chem could probably get away with playing nothing but the album in its entirety on their next tour. Hiding behind fictional characters may work well for the band, but looking beyond the record’s concept it stands alone as a perfect mix of tracks that perfectly demonstrate what MCR are capable of.

If they can shake the ‘emo’ stereotype, this record could unlock the potential for My Chemical Romance to rival the mainstream success of the likes of Green Day. A bold claim, but surely no match for the Killjoys and their laser guns.

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