My Chemical Romance – The Foundations Of Decay

Days ahead of their first shows since their somewhat derailed official return to the stage in 2019 My Chemical Romance have dropped a new single (their first since 2014), The Foundations Of Decay, out of the blue, much to the delight of their fans who were unsure if new music was even likely to be a thing (and I count myself among them).

A creeping digital distortion opens things before synths emerge, but with a far darker hue than those heard in the shiny pop of Danger Days, and piano and lighter end guitar are joined by Gerard Way’s voice for something that instantly brings to mind aspects of both The Black Parade and their (likely less well known) debut album I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, along with hints of later era AFI.

My Chemical Romance 2022, (l-r) Mikey Way, Frank Iero, Gerard Way, Ray Toro

As a long time fan of the band this is an utter treat and something I’ve been longing for, much as I may have enjoyed their later output, particularly as it develops and it becomes clear it is more than the sum of its parts.

At six minutes long it’s one of the lengthier pieces the band have released to date and as it builds it becomes what I can only describe as emo-prog, if such is even possible, as it switches and slides from lighter, darker moments to all out rage to sounds that are genuinely epic.

Mikey and Gerard, live in 2019

With that the band sound as good as ever, completed as they are now, along with Gerard Way, by Mikey Way (bass), Frank Iero (guitar) and Ray Toro (guitar) with drums coming from Jarrod Alexander and piano from Jamie Muhoberac and Doug McKean back on engineering duties.

Lyrically things are familiar, particularly with references to the very origins of the band, but it has an energy to the words and their delivery arguable not heard since Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge making for some heart wrenching moments.

If The Foundations Of Decay is a one off single then it’s terrific one, but I, like I’m sure many are, hope this is just a hint of things to come as the band head back out on the road for the first time in a decade.

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