Date:25/06/2011 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/mp/2011/06/25/stories/2011062550550200.htm
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BEAT STREET


Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys- My Chemical Romance

Virgin Records

Audio CD: Rs. 395

For most of us, our romance with My Chemical Romance started almost decade ago when the band made songs that spoke profoundly to the most angst-ridden among us. But they've come a long way since in terms of their influence. But if there's one thing that hasn't changed, they haven't waved goodbye to their trademark conceptual theatrics.

This album's concept is based on the lives of the “Fabulous Killjoys”, against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic California in the year 2019.

The band's alter-egos are the four Killjoys: “Party Poison” (Gerard Way), “Jet Star” (Ray Toro), “Fun Ghoul” (Frank Iero), and “Kobra Kid” (Mikey Way). The Killjoys are a group of outlaws who are fighting against the evil corporation Better Living Industries.

The opener is “Look alive, sunshine”, the words of which might sound quite nonsensical but the whole aim of the pirate message from the album's host Dr. Death Defying is to give the listener that disoriented feel. Next up is “Na Na Na” which is an exuberantly catchy tune. You'll find yourself singing along at least the third time you listen to it! “Bulletproof Heart” conjures up images of gloomy revolutionary cityscapes and here's where you realise that the band is trying to perpetuate the theme of rebellion.

Following this is “Sing” and its anthemic chorus “Sing it for the boys, sing it for the girls… Sing it for the world” is bound to get stuck in your head. The instrumentation on this one is phenomenal.

“Planetary (GO!)” is a thudding track complete with inimitable guitar crunches. “The only hope for me is you” is a half decent love song. I mean what's with the “whoosh” effect?

Then there's “Jet Star and The Kobra Kid/Traffic Report” which is an obscure and offbeat traffic report by Dr. Death Defying and “Party Poison” which is the simplest track on this album. It's got that pop-punk flavour fans have come to love.

“Save yourself, I'll hold them back” kick starts with the sound of a dirge like wind sweeping over a vast open expanse. Other songs on this album include “S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W”, “Summertime” which is a tuneful ballad, “Destroya” which sounds the death knell of romanticism on this CD, and “The kids from yesterday”.

The penultimate track is “Goodnite, Dr. Death” in which the radio host signs off. And guess what? The song ends with the strains of the beautiful, “The Star Spangled Banner”.

“Vampire Monkey” though not groundbreaking is a fitting end to a decent album. Those of you who were slightly disheartened with their previous album should give this a listen as there's a lot to like. New listeners would have much catching up to do!

NEETI SARKAR

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