Album review: My Chemical Romance's 'Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys’
On My Chemical Romance’s last album “The Black Parade,” one song stood out among that record’s emo messiah complex — the sneering, hilarious T. Rex romp of “Teenagers.” Rarely has a band so needled its own fan base as when Gerard Way warns that “teenagers scare the living [stuff] out of me” atop a dinosaur-rock riff that put a stake in the heart of the tween-goth culture My Chem helped create.
“Danger Days” (Warner Bros.) is, yes, another goofily post-apocalyptic concept album with an adolescent persecution complex. But here it’s delivered with the cartoony swagger of 1979 gang movie “The Warriors” and sounds like something Iggy Pop might let his kids listen to. The excellently titled “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)” has a glammy ‘70s pomp atop wiry biker-gang guitar riffing. “S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W” is a sun-dazed power ballad that will close proms in the desert when the water finally runs out.
My Chem’s indulgent side still sometimes gets the best of them — the rave synths on “The Only Hope for Me Is You” belong on a different album. But they made a wise choice in closing with “Vampire Money,” a No Wave spitball whose opening lyric is an (unprintable) fistful of garlic in the eye of “Twilight’s” sexless family-values-noir. Maybe teenagers aren’t so scary after all.
— August Brown
My Chemical Romance
‘Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys’
Two and a half stars