GRAPHIC BY DEVYN KELLY
By RENEE WANG
Grab your eyeliners and black eyeshadows because the forefront of modern rock, My Chemical Romance, is back.
On Oct. 31, My Chemical Romance announced a reunion show taking place in Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles on Dec. 20.
Originated in 2001, singer Gerard Way formed an American rock band, My Chemical Romance, consisting of bassist Michael James, drummer Matt Pelissier and guitarists Ray Toro along with Frank Iero. Known for their dark and dramatic impression of the punk-rock genre, the band steadily gained popularity with a number of iconic albums, such as The Black Parade and Danger Days. Sadly, after 10 years of jamming, the group decided to disband in 2013. However, rock fans can now rejoice with the recent news of their Return, their debuting show, as many speculate a possibility for the band to become a permanent group.
Therefore, despite the hopeful thoughts of the band’s long-time supporters, people should keep their expectations low as chances that My Chemical Romance remaining is unlikely.
In the beginning, this five-member group was one of the catalysts in the emotional (emo) band wave of the early 2000s, manifesting the feelings of angst and death that defined the emo-genre. Their first album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, set the standard of the band’s loud instrumentals covered by Way’s ominous singing. Fans, mainly adolescents, found the album containing a genuine message and story in the lyrics. Where outsiders would see just typical edgy music, the band’s prominent rhythms, was one of the key aspects that made My Chemical Romance unique to their listeners.
So, if My Chemical Romance has fans who love their music and are anticipating their return, what is stopping them?
In the past, My Chemical Romance had always defined their whole music style with a hardcore punk-rock concept. Compared to today, there is no doubt that the music scene has changed ever since the rise of the pop genre. With that being said, even if My Chemical Romance makes a return, they will have to divert their original image to accommodate today’s generation who sees punk-rock as “out of date.” In essence, it is not likely for the members to succeed in reinventing their image, and most importantly, it loses the initial purpose of what makes fans love them in the first place.
For example, one of the band’s most popular albums, The Black Parade, tells a story of a character dubbed “the Patient,” dying from cancer and transitioning into the world of the afterlife in the form of a parade. This represented Way’s perspective of death as “the Patient” looks back on his life with regret and missed opportunities throughout the album. In the end, he still finds the strength to go back, yet the last track of the album, Blood, does not end with a happy conclusion. As “the Patient” wakes up in the hospital alive, he comes to the realization that while death is bad, life seems no better. This realistic story-telling on how life affects people was a common question back then that became the band’s central idea for the album.
Notably, My Chemical Romance was not afraid to mix death with comedy when they were active, but the media and spectators have become more sensitive. Essentially, even if My Chemical Romance returns and sticks with their original concept, the overall public today would see the meaning of albums like The Dark Parade as offensive.
Of course, it is not to say that My Chemical Romance’s return is not a possibility.
In today’s society, more and more people need to hear the veracious messages of their songs. On the surface, it might seem hard to understand the irony and sass the verses display, but there is a deeper meaning involved My Chemical Romance’s songs than simply being “depressing.” Messages of their songs spread awareness of relationship abuse, overcoming death, and persevering through life, which caused the band to become so well-loved by fans of metal and rock. It is memorable and genuine, as fans can personally relate to the solemn thoughts portrayed in many of their songs.
In the end, My Chemical Romance is still remembered for its musical genius beyond the disbandment, thanks to their fans. So, even if My Chemical Romance’s reunion is temporary, fans should still continue to remind others of the band’s history as they did since 2013.
We’ll carry on. And though you’re gone, believe me, your memory will carry on.