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Warner, November 2010

The fourth studio album by My Chemical Romance is the highly anticipated follow-up to the grandiose successful spectacle of The Black Parade.

Danger Days:The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys is an epic, surrealist gem plucked from a futuristic world of rebels and racers. Evidentially another concept album has been created.

My Chemical Romance has become increasingly electronic, with high speed dance tracks like ‘Planetary (Go!)’ and its sirens. Thankfully the former emo heroes retain their punk snarl and shout. MCR master this genre skilfully though not an obvious direction for this notorious force of emo pop.

The change in direction fits seamlessly with the concept of the album. MCR play their alter egos who, in the desert of California, fight against the corporation. From the video to the first single off the album ‘Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)’ the scene is set complete with comical camp costumes.

Regardless of the post-apocalyptic concept Danger Days is a high powered punk pop masterpiece. From the introductory tracks of ‘Look Alive Sunshine’ and ‘Na Na Na’ to the more melodic ‘S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W’ to the profound animated sound bites of ‘Party Posion’ in lines like “’cause all the good times, / They give you cancer” making you want to take to the dancefloor with fluorescent abandon.

MCR retain the punk sensibilities throughout this satirical reflection of modern society and corporation control in ‘Bulletproof Heart’ lyrics such as “I’m who I’ve gotta be, / These pigs are after me, after you”. Although it’s obvious that Danger Days is more autobiographical and personal as Gerard Way expresses in ‘SING’ “I’m not the singer you wanted but a dancer”.

Emo rears its majestic, tear stained face in ‘The Only Hope For Me Is You’ as Way comes in with “Remember me” to the pleading “Can I be the only hope for you, / Because you’re the only hope for me”. Though, this song retains its punk political sentiments as it says “Think of the guns they sell”. The layers of this album scale genres while inspired by the pop culture of the past and set in the future the album feels nothing but of-the-minute.

The finale ‘Vampire Money’, where the undead pursue our anti-heroes and the narrative goes into the Star Spangled Banner, reminiscent of the heydays of Hendrix. Its deterioration into angry distorted white noise is a welcomed closing as the song, comes in with a final fight or flight.

My Chemical Romance – ‘Na Na Na’

Also posted on InQuire Live.