It seems like the entire world is waiting for My Chemical Romance to reunite on the stage of the Shrine Auditorium Dec. 20. Let’s face it: The love for MCR is far and wide and sometimes comes from the most unusual quarters.
Which is precisely the reason why we put together this list of cover versions of MCR tracks. From the poptastic realm of Against The Current to the cranked-up indie rock of Alex Lahey to the neo-glam universe of Palaye Royale, love for the New Jersey rock team is at a fever pitch.
Here’s whose versions we’ve known all along and ones we were completely floored by.
1. Against The Current – “Teenagers”
Chrissy Costanza and crew take My Chem’s 12-bar roadhouse blues and retool it as a pop nugget to sing along to. Nice one, buds.
2. Along Came A Spider – “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”
Cleveland’s very own Along Came A Spider powered their very metal take on this classic single in a way that completely schools metalheads how awesome MCR actually are. Hey, if Gary Holt from Slayer can dig The Black Parade, there’s no reason why your cousin with the homemade prison tats can’t get with the program.
3. Kimya Dawson – “The Kids From Yesterday”
Anybody firmly ensconced in the indie world knows Kimya Dawson from her days in the mid-’90s anti-folk band the Moldy Peaches. As a solo artist, Dawson’s blessed with the ability to make you feel good about yourself or make you shoot through boxes of Kleenex. Her take on “The Kids From Yesterday” is austere and fragile, the way one annoying office grampire here feels after listening to the original.
4. The Funeral Portrait – “Helena”
Atmospheric and edgy, this electronic rendition by Atlanta spooky doodz the Funeral Portrait is positively mesmerizing and sinister. Lee Jennings knows how to belt it out as the band approximate the PA system in Valhalla. Amazing.
5. Halocene – “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”
Arizona-based pop-rock trio Halocene turn MCR’s frantic first major-label single into a ballad that could work in a smoky nightclub or a coming-of-age teen film. We’re not crying, nope…
6. Alex Lahey – “Welcome To The Black Parade”
Australian singer-songwriter Alex Lahey knocked this signature MCR classic right out of the park. From the vocals to the crashing cymbals and tympani, this one is nothing short of amazing. It even gave Gerard Way chills.
7. Not Ur Girlfrenz – “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”
You may recall Not Ur Girlfrenz drummer Maren Alford setting fire to the net with her cover of Slipknot’s “Unsainted.” Here, she bashes away with her bandmates at a Dallas, Texas, Warped Tour date from 2018 as the crowd sings along. It does sound great stripped down, doesn’t it?
8. Palaye Royale – “Teenagers”
It should come to the surprise of absolutely no one that the young men of Palaye Royale would cover MCR’s token rawk song. In the way My Chem reframed so many classic-rock artists on The Black Parade, Palaye served solid rock antecedents (Rolling Stones, Beatles) to thousands at Warped Tour, generating new fans and erasing the generational divides between them. (Read: Your parents dig ’em, too.)
9. Puddles Pity Party – “Helena”
Wow. Puddles The Clown’s dramatic reading of “Helena” is patently heart-swelling. This is the version you play for aunts, uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents if you got ’em. We hope Puddles ends up in the studio with Dallon Weekes sometime next year.
10. twenty one pilots – “Cancer”
twenty one pilots frontman Tyler Joseph’s reading of MCR’s saddest song is delivered with the same kind of grace that he conveys on his albums. The “lips are chapped and faded” and “kiss you” refrains are both sad and sonically narcotic.