Earlier this week, it marked a year since My Chemical Romance confirmed they were over, but they’ve released one last record as their parting gift with an extra song. With a breakup that seemingly came out of nowhere, I think we deserved it!
As you’d expect, it’s quite the eclectic collection of music. Opening song Fake Your Death is a welcome addition to the back-catalogue, an emotional pop farewell and a fitting conclusion to a band were a constant evolution over their years.
The following few tracks, Honey This Mirror isn’t Big Enough For The Two Of Us and Vampires Will Never Hurt You throwback to their anarchic roots, seeming worlds away from the polished, high-concept ‘rock opera’ My Chemical Romance that exploded into the 2006 mainstream, and what soon followed.
Then there’s Helena, a perfect rock anthem of its time that was dwarfed only by its predecessor, I’m Not Okay. Frank Iero and Ray Toro’s riffs are monstrous, and Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge-era My Chemical Romance sees their post-hardcore and punk leanings giving way to the epic and grandiose at times, particularly on The Ghost Of You, before you get to Welcome To The Black Parade, from the point in time when their usage of an album as a vehicle for a larger story got a lot heavier.
There are Queen influences aplenty, arguably the best drumming heard on My Chemical Romance songs, and probably a little more Liza Minnelli than you’d expect to hear on an album from those considered to be at the forefront of the emo scene.
Thirteen tracks in to May Death Never Stop You, you reach Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na), the explosive departure from everything that came before that surprised the internet that one night, long ago. The pageantry of Parade is still there, but with a more comedic, whimsical atmosphere. Always end on something positive.
My Chemical Romance have so many impressive songs and through the years they’ve been hard to place in to just one genre, and this collection is perfect for any latecomers to the band and anyone looking for a casual revisiting. With so many epic concept albums, a compilation might not do the crafted quality of their tracks full justice; but when it comes to this journey, you’re more than happy to go along for this ride through history.