My Chemical Romance – ‘Conventional Weapons’

By Tom Aylott

My Chemical Romance’s “lost” album ‘Conventional Weapons’ has resurfaced over the last few months in two track bursts, and this week saw ‘Part 5’ completing the pentalogy.

The overall sound won’t be a surprise if you’ve been checking it out in parts, and it’s split down the middle in terms of killer and filler. ‘Conventional Weapons’ also falls victim to its own format – it feels a little directionless without the unifying concept of ‘Danger Days…’ and ‘The Black Parade’, and if it was an album by itself it would probably lack a killer single.

Whether that’s why it never made it first time around remains to be seen, but despite that there’s plenty to enjoy here. As a 10 strong collection of tracks, it’s got all the ingredients fans will love, and there’s plenty of strong choruses here that would sound gigantic live.

Gerard Way’s voice here is as you’d expect – shrill and tuneful – and the instrumental backing ends up a sort of mix of ‘Dangers Days…’ and the band’s early material. It’s also quite interesting to see elements of what became ‘Danger Days’ at their inception. ‘Make Room!!!’ has the “everybody wants to change the world, but no one wants to die” line that appeared on the ludicrously titled ‘Na Na Na [Na Na Na Na Na Na]’ lead single from the album, and it’s arguably better placed on ‘Conventional Weapons’.

All things considered – if you’re a fan of the band, there’s very little reason not to check out the release. If you’re not, then you really won’t find a reason to change your mind. It’s upbeat and interesting, and plenty of of it (‘Boy Division’, ‘Make Room!!!’ and ‘Gun’ in particular) is up there with the best of their recent material.


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