Sunday, November 07, 2010

Musical Interlude - My Chemical Romance

Band photo courtesy of My Chemical Romance's facebook page.
I had already planned to post on My Chemical Romance for today's musical interlude. I've been wanting to write about them again for a while now. Ironically, when I looked back on my blog posts, exactly one year ago today, is when I came clean on this blog, declaring my absolute love for the band. Why did I want to write about them again? Well, other than the fact they are probably one of my all-time, top five favorite bands, I'm counting the hours until the new My Chemical Romance album, Danger Days: True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys is released on November 22nd. It's been four, count them, four years since their last album release and I'd almost given up hope on hearing new music from them. I can hardly stand the wait, especially in these last two weeks.

Their first album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, is pure punk rock, with a hint of things to come. The songs are very narrative and seem to follow two Bonnie and Clyde type characters who are eventually gunned down in the California desert, with vampires, zombies, clinical depression and 9/11 thrown in for good measure. I know that probably doesn't make you want to rush out and listen to it, but trust me, they make it all work. The album has a lot of energy and is very lose technically, but that makes sense, considering the band recorded the album shortly after they formed.

The band took a giant leap forward in musical growth with their second album, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. Their alt-rock-punk sound was more focused, their writing style tighter, more intense, and the songs are even more narrative in nature. Where Bullets hinted at a concept, Three Cheers is definitely a concept album. It's a New Jersey mafia version of the Romeo and Juliet story, combined with Orpheus and Eurydice. Romeo finds himself in purgatory, where he makes a deal with the devil, to be resurrected along with his dead Juliet, in exchange for the souls of a thousand evil men. He is then resurrected and sent out on his gruesome task. It's like a horror movie in musical form. It has a driving intensity and is beautiful, powerful, funny, romantic and dark. I am still in love with that album, which contains my favorite song, "Helena". (Also, one of the best videos ever, in my humble opinion.)

The band then reinvented themselves stylistically both with their image and their music, taking another huge jump forward in their musical growth. They got rid of their black, white and red mafia three-piece suits, bulletproof vests and goth makeup, and pulled on the black and gray marching band uniforms of The Black Parade. A pure rock opera, with sweeping arrangements and progressive rock leanings, this album follows the story of The Patient, a man dying of cancer. It follows him through his supposed death, on to his journey through the afterlife and his reflections on his life, as he meets characters such as Mother War, and Fear & Regret. I won't tell you if it has a happy ending or not... (wink)

And now, they have reinvented themselves again,which by the way, even though it requires adjustment of expectations on my part, I see this as a good thing, that they continue to grow and challenge themselves as artists. No longer band members in the Black Parade, they are now the Killjoys. They now wear rebellious technicolor outfits and fight bad guys with ray guns in a black and white post-apocalyptic world. Since the album hasn't been released yet, I can't give you the full scoop on the entire concept/story or the new musical direction they are going. Although, if the first single (and video) is any indication, they're taking a more straightforward rock and roll approach, with some power-pop mixed in.

It took a while for this first single to grow on me. I'm not used to this band just having fun and being... uh... happy. But it has a blistering guitar solo in the middle, that kept me coming back for more and now I love it. I have no idea what direction the new album is going to take, but I know I can trust them. I'm just going to hop in the Trans Am with them, buckle my seat belt and hang on for the ride!

Click on the image below and the video will launch in a new window. It makes a ton of B-movie and pop culture references, and is a treat in and of itself. Enjoy!
Na Na Na (Na Na Na)
By My Chemical Romance

Look alive, Sunshine.
109 in the sky but the pigs won't quit.
You're here with me: Dr. Death Defying.
I'll be your surgeon, your proctor, your helicopter.
Pumpin' out the slaughtermatic sounds to keep you alive.
A system failure for the masses, anti-matter for the master plan.
Louder than God's revolver and twice as shiny.
This one's for all of you rock 'n' rollers,
All you crash queens and motor babies.
Listen up!
The future is bulletproof!
The aftermath is secondary!
It's time to do it now and do it loud!
Killjoys, make some noise!

Gimme drugs
Gimme drugs
I don't need 'em
But I'll sell what you got
Take the cash
And I'll keep it
Eight legs to the wall
Hit the gas
Kill 'em all
And we crawl
And we crawl
And we crawl
You be my detonator

Gimme love
Gimme love
I don't need it
But I'll take what I want
From your heart
And I'll keep it in a bag
In a box
With an X on the floor
Gimme more
Gimme more
Gimme more
Shut up and sing it with me

(Na Na Na...)
From mall security
To every enemy
We're on your property
Standing in V formation

(Na Na Na...)
Let's blow an artery
Eat plastic surgery
Keep your apology
Give us more detonation

(More! Gimme more! Gimme more!)
Oh, let me tell ya 'bout the sad man
Shut up and let me see your jazz hands
Remember when you were a madman
Thought you was Batman
Hit the party with a gas can
Kiss me you animal

(Na Na Na...)
You run the company
F*** like a Kennedy
I think we'd rather be
Burning your information

Let's blow an artery
Eat plastic surgery
Keep your apology
Give us more detonation

And right here
Right now
All the way in Battery City
The little children
Raised their open filthy palms
Like tiny daggers up to heaven
And all the juvee halls
And the Ritalin rats
Ask angels made from neon
and eating garbage
Scream out!
"What will save us?"
And the sky opened up

Everybody wants to change the world
Everybody wants to change the world
But no one,
No one wants to die
Wanna try, wanna try, wanna try
Wanna try, wanna try, now
I'll be your detonator

(Na Na Na...)
Make no apologies
It's death or victory
On my authority
Crash and burn
Young and loaded

Drop like a bulletshell
Dress like a sleeper cell
I'd rather go to hell
Than be in purgatory
Cut my hair
Gag and bore me
Pull this pin
Let this world explode


hyacinthinemoon said...

I have no idea what their album is going to be about yet. I am kinda scratching my head, but the thing I really like about MCR is that each album is totally different and they always surprise me and change my perception about the band. They are challenging, changing, evolving and fun. The tune on this first song is pretty catchy too. ;)

hyacinthinemoon said...

Oh and Girard is just too cute with RED hair. Seriously!

D.L. White said...

I agree - each album is totally different and surprising, but it's still good music (otherwise I wouldn't keep listening, obviously).

And yeah, who ever thought bright red hair would be so... complimentary... but he wears it well, indeed. ;)

D.L. White said...

Hey Kat - check out this cover article and picture.

"It’s not just about the hair dye, as Gerard Way tells us in a smart and surprising interview, they’ve stopped their goth-y whining, and gone pop art."

"We loathe what goth has become..."
Amen, Gerard. Preach it!

I just might have to pick up this magazine this week!