It was around this date five years ago when post-emo, art-riot, hyphenate rockers MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE chose to call it a day. (Our site was under repair yesterday—we’re just a day late on this one.) Do you know where you were then?
I guess we’re all kids from yesterday.
— jason pettigrew (@ptgrw) March 23, 2013
While the demise of one of the planet’s most loved bands was most certainly a drag, what a couple folks surmised back then has actually come true: Fans now have a stack of records to discover, ponder and cherish. Yes, the Danger Days protagonist character Dr. Death-Defying did lie to you: The aftermath was most certainly not secondary, but crucial to maintaining the mindset of MCR into the future. They’re not all in the same room making music anymore, but a sweet collected playlist of where the members are now is the next best thing.
GERARD WAY – “Action Cat”
The first song unveiled from Gerard’s 2014 solo debut Hesitant Alien was an amalgam of Heroes-era Bowie, Pixies and the Jesus And Mary Chain. This track just feels like slicked-back hair, mirrored aviator shades and black PVC. Mikey Way once told this writer that when his brother first gave him the demo, he played it every morning to start his day. Funny, so did I…
RAY TORO, “Isn’t That Something”
MCR’s world-class guitar shredder threw all of us a massive curveball on his 2016 solo debut Remember The Laughter. This track leads off the LP, creating a vibe that’s one part ’70s classic rock and sprite ’80s new wave, yet not sounding completely like either. Everybody thought that Toro’s post-MCR output would be a Guitar Center wet dream orgy of six-string acrobatics that would land him gigs opening for Steve Vai or Joe Satriani. His ability to craft radio-ready hooks and measured doses of introspection was positively refreshing.
ELECTRIC CENTURY, “Someone Like You”
The duo of Mikey Way and Dave Debiak (New London Fire) teamed up to make For The Night To Control, the best record of 1983. This writer isn’t throwing shade in the slightest: “Someone Like You” has an electronic-based, anthemic feel that’s a throwback to such ’80s radar blips as When In Rome and Fiction Factory—only without the stupid haircuts. This record doesn’t rock at all, and thank God for that.
FRNKIERO ANDTHE CELLABRATION, “.Smoke Rings.”
The first member to break out in two ways (post-MCR touring with Death Spells and releasing a record), Iero has always had an obsession with getting things done. You get the feeling that making him sit still for 20 minutes would be a massive Herculean effort. This track from his debut record Stomachaches is a grating slice of overmodulated art punk that’s simultaneously primitive and sophisticated, all frayed nerve endings and distortion pedals set in the “kill” position.
REGGIE AND THE FULL EFFECT, “Karate School”
A lot of fans don’t realize that by the time they were making the abandoned Danger Days follow-up, The Paper Kingdom, James Dewees was an official member of My Chem. He’s still doing time as a member of Gerard Way’s band (the Hormones) as well as the Get Up Kids, but it’s his solo vehicle Reggie And The Full Effect that brings the rock, the laughs and more than a few alter egos. On his new album, 41, Dewees mixes a killer riff with memories of going to college at Hogwarts and learning martial arts. Probably. As you read this, he is on tour opening for Senses Fail. So close this screen and wind down your car’s window to the gig, OK?