Friday, 29 March 2013

My Chemical Romance - a personal journey


The recent news that this fine band spilt this week  was terrible news for me as I've loved them since I first heard them back in 2004 with the mighty track "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)". Yes, I'm not cool enough to admit that I didn't hear of them through their outstanding outstanding "I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love" album. (However I am cool enough for the link above to be for the original video, rather than the spiffy school-movie themed one). "I Brought You My Bullets..." and the follow up "Three Cheers For Sweat Revenge" were basically perfect to my ears, doing what emo does best by being blastingly good punk tracks with lyrics based on real emotional content. This wasn't "oh my girl she left me" or "lets get drunk", this was real feelings that you could actually relate to and that they somehow always managed to put an upbeat spin on it, be it through a 'we'll get through this together' cheeriness or a 'fuck 'em in the eye' aggressiveness. It was outsider music but it wasn't exclusive and you didn't have to be "this dark" to join in, you just had to have some bounce in you that they would amplify for you.  They also had the sense to throw in some old school 80's style searing guitar melodies along with a lot of 'pop-punk' hooks and bouncyness. It was fresh, it was unashamed and it was something that blasted its way through my late 20's like a well needed blast of youthful Joie de vivre (plus they did a killer Misfits cover that I think I was the only one to recognise when they played it live at Brixton)

Then they went and did "The Black Parade", which I basically through was a bad attempt at trying to rip-off Queen and I hated quite a lot for it. The emo-kids went mental, the album went flying up the charts, The Daily Mail called them a "Suicide Cult", and I was a bit miffed about them going very pants indeed. These days I think I was being harsh and just selfishly looking for more of the same whilst they wanted to be musically creative and thematically different (they had changed their image with each album so the new threads weren't a problem for me). I've now chilled out and found that I actually like the last track on the album (though it might just have been the relief of it all being over).

After that they went kinda quite for 4 years, other than touring the world and reaping their much deserved  rewards. There was talk of a new album around 2008 (sticking to their two year release cycle) and then there wasn't, then on a bit more and a cracking Bob Dylan cover for the Watchmen soundtrack that showed a turn back to form and then nothing. Finally in 2010 they got around to releasing "Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys" and it was bloody amazing! Easily their best work, utterly nut-bag in its neo-cyberpunk concept-album, and full of so much colour and excitement that I was so eager to get it that it became my first digital album purchase as I couldn't wait long enough to go down the shops to get a copy. It had highs ("Planetary GO!"), it had lows ("Kids of Yesterday"), it had bloody stupid song titles (Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na))and it had optimism combined with arsekicking rock-out tracks ("Sing"). They were back and better than, I liked it a lot and I was looking forward to see what they would do next.

Throwing a curve-ball they decided that like all great things, it has come time for it to end. I was upset, I was a little disappointed, but after 12 years and 3 perfect album all I can really feel (along with a lot of their other fans) is happy that they came into my life. Now I just sit hear looking forward to whatever they will be doing next, either as a group or as individuals. Project outside of music are already turning up and some of their side-bands are gathering new steam. Whatever it'll be I'm sure it'll be exciting, and who can really ask for anything more?
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