My Chemical Romance review

New Jersey’s theatrical rockers are back with a new sound

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After two and a half years touring concept-record smash The Black Parade, New Jersey’s theatrical rockers spent a little time just living life. One member left, some got married and had babies, or, in the case of Gerard Way, continued to write stories for his comic book series. But when they reconvened to write the follow-up album, things got a little sticky.

Having written lead single ‘Na Na Na’, they looked back at the album’s worth of songs they’d recorded thus far, scrapped it all and began anew. In its place is a ‘radio transmission from 2019’ compèred between songs by the mysterious ‘surgeon/proctor/helicopter’, Doctor Death-Defying.

And the songs themselves? They’re as Technicolor bright as Way’s newly dyed red hair. Among the triumphantly anthemic ‘The Only Hope for Me Is You’, the fist-pumping punk-pop of ‘Bulletproof Heart’ (mind that double-pronged guitar solo) and the ragged squall of ‘Destroya’, MCR still have time to get tender. Both ‘Summertime’ and ‘The Kids from Yesterday’ reveal themselves to be chest-swelling emo-tinged rock, with a synthy, ’80s bent. It’s big and brash, and unashamedly so. My Chemical Romance, we salute you.

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