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

Posted on November 18, 2010


After watching the “listening party” for My Chemical Romance’s highly anticipated follow-up to 2006’s The Black Parade, I couldn’t help but have mixed feelings. I didn’t get to hear all the tracks, and I’ve only heard the ones that were available the one time, but there’s still a fair bit to be said.

I’ve been so hyped about Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys lately that finally hearing it in any form was bound to be a bit of a let-down. However, the album did turn out to be a series of great highs and minimal lows, so I had no real complaints and I’m still buying a hard copy on Monday.

The stream didn’t include all the tracks, and those of us only listening to official streams or downloads are still yet to hear “Look Alive, Sunshine”, “Jet Star and the Kobra Kid/Traffic Report” or “Goodnite, Dr. Death”.

Dr. Death image, by Neil Krug

Dr Death (full credit for image to Neil Krug)

The listening party, led by fictional pirate DJ (as in ‘underground’, not swashbuckling) Dr. Death, who introduced the first track of the stream (second of the album) “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na)”, which has become an online hit for the band.

It’s a big departure from the sound of the New Jersey quartet’s first three studio albums, but embodies the My Chem ideals of constantly evolving and remaining unpredictable. Some fans may not like it, but I love it.

The album has enough flash of the “old” My Chem to appease older fans, particularly with the heavy, dirty “Bulletproof Heart”. Power chord-driven, but by no means simple, it’s one of my early favourites.

Most fans will have already heard “SING”, “The Only Hope For Me Is You” and “Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them back”, and they kinda represent the different sides of MCR on this record.

The latter is, I think, the most MCR sound like they did on their first two records. It’s gritty, Gerard Way’s vocals are rough and edgy…it’s just a classic dirty MCR rocker.

The only relative low points are “Planetary (GO!)”, which just doesn’t even feel like My Chemical Romance. “S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W” is a bit boring – despite being hailed in a couple of reviews, it felt a bit flat. These are only minor complaints though, because this is otherwise very solid.

Moments like “Summertime” and “The Kids From Yesterday” combine the expected and unexpected. Whilst MCR changing, or the latter being an epic ballad, are nothing new, the concepts and execution make them special. The Latter is a ballad about people who died in a fictional war in MCR’s 2019 California. It’s clearly a statement on reality, though, which does make it moving.

I’ll hope to have a bigger review up next week, either on here or linked from here to 411Mania. Leave any comments if you want, and I’ll reply. Take a look around the rest of the site, too, because I’ve been adding more content over the last couple of days.

Posted in: General Rock, Reviews