So yesterday was the release of a new album by My Chemical Romance and I guess this is supposed to be a big deal. A friend of mine called me a few days ago asking if I could hook her up with anything and while driving the company vehicle I heard them get mentions on KROQ at least 4 seperate times… within half an hour. Luckily I usually stayed distanced enough from most major traditional media oulets to not suffer from oversaturation of bands that I already like. Unfortunately even I get tired of hearing about a lot of bands before I’ve even had the opportunity to give them an objective chance.
I mean the first time I saw a video from MCR I’ll admit, it did get my attention. I’m Not O.K. was just catchy and angsty enough to make me wonder what these guys were all about. Of course I didn’t realize they were serious about all of it at the time. I thought they were making fun of the emo stereotypes, I had no idea they were the real freakin’ deal. I mean is this what they thought of all us flannel wearing grunge kids who couldn’t decide whether we were punks or hippies? Regardless I’ll give anything a full listen at least once, so when I got an advance copy of their album I skimmed through it. I thought the harmonies in Helena were pretty good, of course I wasn’t actually listening to the lyrics at the time… thank god. The video also has some nice visual elements to it as well, if you can get past the sheer cheesiness of it. Problem is I’ve come to realize these guys are actually serious.
Regardless, there is one song by My Chemical Romance that had it been done by anybody else I would probably consider it to be one of the most moving tunes I’ve heard in the past 2 or 3 years. That song is actually their single Ghost of You. The video for this particular track is also not only less laughable than their rest, but kind of visceral with a nicely done nostalgic feel to it. (It helps that for once they’re not wearing make-up that’s so offensively “emo”… to put it in a nice way)
My Chemical Romance – Ghost of You
Overall I’d say that MCR probably could have been a halfway decent act if they didn’t squander their songwriting talents on crybaby whining all the time and a gimmicky image meant to cash in on the most out of place adolescents who have $16.99 for a CD. I was “the different guy” in high school, but I mean how far can you take a hyperbole.
This goes the other way too. I mean there are bands that I actually use to like and now I see them and I wonder… “What happened?” The first example that should come to everyone’s mind in this case should be the one and only AFI. (Yes it would be so much easier to explain if there were two of them. Believe it or not kiddies these guys used to be a hardcore punk band. Check it out:
Who knew that cowlick was actually an alien fungus that would begin to take over Davey Havok’s whole being. I just thought this was tying in to the Halloween theme of the EP Total Immortal was pulled from:
I’m all for bands evolving and shit, I even held out through the whole Sing the Sorrow fiasco. In hindsight even you have to admit, that could have been a lot worse. Too bad they had to go and prove it. I’ll spare you visual representation of what they’ve full on become today, but does a band that’s been putting it down for over ten years really expect me to take lyrics such as “I can hate myself more than anyone” seriously while dressed like that?
AFI – Rabbits are Roadkill on Route 37
Another band that is quickly losing me is Rise Against. I’d been telling myself to look more into these guys for years since a couple of old school punks I knew were really into them. I heard a couple heavier tracks here and there that I liked and I wanted to check out the rest of their catalog. In fact for the longest time I had been kicking myself everytime I heard something new by them for not letting myself get into them sooner.
Then one day I happened to be near a radio when this started playing.
Rise Against – Swing Life Away
Alright I can dig a nice acoustic love ballad as much as the next guy, but the name of your band is Rise Against dudes. When I reach for an album by a band with a name like Rise Against, this is not what I’m looking to hear. That was just the beginning for me. I guess the success of Swing Life Away was all the record label needed to take and run with. I can’t complain about a little polish being given to those vocals, but the latest stuff I’ve been hearing from these guys is waaaay over produced. People say that Andy Wallace took away alot of their edge on Siren Song, but seriously I would never have guessed that the singles I’ve heard from this new album were by the same guys who did Life Less Frightening yet alone any of the crunchier stuff I heard before that. Of course I have as of yet to hear the whole thing, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Either way I know these guys have it in ’em, just quit being afraid to keep it hardcore fellas.