Album Reviews, Featured, Music

Review: My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

We have for some time, suspected that My Chemical Romance’s musical influences were much more than guitar riffs ridden with teen angst and emotional instability. From moments hinted on Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge to the rather bombastic leadoff single from The Black Parade, it would seem that the members of the band spent as much time listening to Aerosmith, David Bowie and Queen as they did their punk rock. Any doubt can be put to rest on the band’s foray away from their past- their terrifically outlandish, operatic rock theatre Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.

As the title would imply, the band have not let go of their conceptual theatrics. Their earliest incarnations (their overlooked debut I Bought You Bullets) had already envisioned Bonnie & Clyde narratives, and their latest is probably the most adept telling of the vast, graphic novel universe the members of the band spend much of their creative time in. Danger Days, about the lives of these so-called Killjoys, is glittering dance-infused rock that parlays its love of synthesizers and melody into the best Ziggy Stardust-penned-Steven Tyler-sung songs done with an added sprinkling of Freddie Mercury bravado.

The Killjoys are battling the Draculoids and Better Living Industries, and this galactic-themed conflict unfolds by way of anthemic, call-to-arms rock (“Na Na Na”), angular textures (“Party Poison”), dance-tinged (“Planetary GO!”) pieces that all build up to the stadium-sized side of the rock palette. Songs like “The Only Hope For Me Is You”, “S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W” and “Summertime” all sound like a Liv Tyler/Alicia Silverstone starring music video, cut from the same mold as the Three Cheers track “The Ghost of You”. Gerard Way’s croon is now far more refined, less angry, and these mid-paced songs benefit from the new vibrant tone. It makes the band come across as far less frenzied than they did on tracks like “Thank You For the Venom” and “Cemetery Drive”, and depending on who you ask, is the band cultivating a new sense of finesse.

The tracks are interlaced with the radio broadcast from the album’s “host”, a Dr. Death Defying, narrated very much like the 1979 film The Warriors. And like the film, Danger Days is a colorful climax of character and weirdly wonderful imagination. Most of it is seamless, but there are a few glaring missteps. “Na Na Na”, while musically sound, does come across as more of a throw away single and tracks like “DESTROYA” and “Vampire Money” do not fit the mold of a band forging new ground. The formatting of these song titles (“S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W”?) begs a lot questions too, less a mature simplicity and more of a bored high teenager scribbling in their notebook. Most notably, the inclusion of the “Star-Spangled Banner” done by marching band in “Goodnite, Dr. Death” is inexcusable.

Critics have taken much time to exercise their displeasure in My Chemical Romance’s musical identity in the past. It’s easy to hate something so “blatantly emo” and to cast a net over larger social issues by pointing the finger at tangible targets. But My Chemical Romance have never once wavered from being themselves. So what happens now when the band’s acclaim is more deserving than ever? When we all realize that Danger Days is the sound of a band finally shedding the burden of an entire genre, we will see that My Chemical Romance have been having the last laugh for a very long time.

And as Way closes the chapter of their past in the very apt “The Kids From Yesterday”, singing with great reflection;

“You only live forever in the lights you make / When we were young, we used to say / That you only hear the music when your heart begins to break / Now we are the kids from yesterday”

It is the final salute in what sounds like, and feels like, an honest turning of the page. And if you do in fact, “live forever in the lights you make”, then their lights, for now, shine the brightest. (Reprise / Warner Bros.)

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Videos

New videos: Rancid, My Chemical Romance, Valencia

Black and white rehashes of old songs and videos we can’t see. It’s the theme for today’s music video roundup thanks to Rancid having not much to do these days and VEVO’s painfully annoying geographical restrictions.

Rancid have spend the last few months posting regular video updates of unreleased tracks. The band have now started posting videos from a new weekly session they are calling Rancid: Live from the Living Room. It will showcase recordings with no overdubs or studio manipulations or both acoustic and electric renditions of Rancid favourites from across their catalogue as well as the occasional cover. The first one, “Wrongful Suspicion”, is from their 1998 album Life Won’t Wait. You can watch it above.

My Chemical Romance of course, are on the tip of music’s tongue at the moment with the new album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys seeing release in Australia today and in other regions next Monday. They’ve just released the brand new video for the single “SING” and those able, can watch it here.

Philly pop punkers Valencia are fresh from the release of their brand new album Dancing With a Ghost, and have now unveiled the video for the title track. The album is good, and I can only guess what the video is like, thanks to VEVO’s licensing restrictions. Watch it here.

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Uncategorized

My Chemical Romance announce 2011 tour plans

With the release of their new album just over the horizon, My Chemical Romance have announced the first batch of North American tour dates for 2011.

US fans can take note as the band will trek through the United States for an extensive run starting next April. MCR spent the last few weeks in Europe and recently released the teaser for their next single “Sing”.

Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys is out November 22nd.

Tour dates:
April 1, 2011 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theatre
April 2, 2011 – Vancouver, BC @ Center for Performing Arts
April 3, 2011 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox Sodo
April 5, 2011 – Edmonton, AB @ Edmonton Event Centre
April 6, 2011 – Calgary, AB @ MacEwan Hall
April 8, 2011 – Salt Lake City @ In the Venue
April 9, 2011 – Denver, CO @ Fillmore
April 10, 2011 – Des Moines, IA @ Val Air Ballroom
April 12, 2011 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
April 13, 2011 – Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
April 15, 2011 – Chicago, IL @ Aragon
April 17, 2011 – Cleveland, OH @ House Of Blues
April 20, 2011 – Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
April 22, 2011 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5
May 5, 2011 – Boston, MA @ House Of Blues
May 6, 2011 – Philadelphia, PA @ Tower Theater
May 7, 2011 – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
May 10, 2011 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
May 11, 2011 – Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
May 17, 2011 – West Palm Bch, FL @ Revolution
May 18, 2011 – Orlando, FL @ House Of Blues
May 20, 2011 – Houston, TX @ House Of Blues
May 21, 2011 – Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues
May 24, 2011 – Phoenix, AZ @ Marquee

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Music

My Chemical Romance post “Sing” teaser trailer

The promotional wave for Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys continues its ascent before the impending November 22nd launch of the album. With the recent announcement that “Sing” would follow “Na Na Na” as the second single, My Chemical Romance have now unveiled the teaser trailer accompaniment.

Taking cue from previous videos, the teaser continues the as-of-yet unknown narrative that sprawls through the album. The new trailer showcases more fast cars, laser guns, Scottish writer Grant Morrison, and a dystopian vision of… the future? the present? Alternate reality?

Perhaps we’ll find out when Danger Days finally hits the streets.

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Music

My Chemical Romance reveal “Sing” single art

Fresh from the release of the music video for the track “Na Na Na“, My Chemical Romance have revealed the new artwork of their next single “Sing.” The track come from their hotly anticipated new album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, due November 22nd.

Feeling the artwork? The band’s new aesthetic has been their most cohesive yet, and will surely tie in well with the expected rock n’ roll extravagance of the new album.

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Uncategorized

My Chemical Romance unleash “Na Na Na” video

With just over a month to wait until the new My Chemical Romance album hits stores, the band have unveiled their long awaiting music video for the single “Na Na Na”.

Previewed earlier in the teaser trailer for the album, the video unleashes all the desert madness in its full glory- guns, cars, Scottish graphic novel writers and if you watch closely enough, animals doing the dirty.

The track was the first to be released from their upcoming new album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, out November 23rd.

North American viewers can watch the new music video streaming here. MCR fans in Australia will have to watch it on the MusicFix page.

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