In August, Gerard Way admitted to the press that he disbanded My Chemical Romance in 2013 because life had led him to a “dark place” where he was “self-medicating to get through”. For someone who’s last album left them turning to alcohol his debut is surprisingly cheerful, full of pop hooks and Britpop influenced choruses.
Opening song ‘Bureau’ stills has some of the punk influences fans of My Chemical Romance will appreciate but it is clear the 37 year old has come into his own. By second song ‘Action Cat’ it is very, very clear that all that 2004 emo-pop-punk angst has gone, this song and the lead single ‘No Shows’ are instant anthems (No shows could have easily been on ‘The Fabulous Lives of the Danger Days’ with a little added guitar).
We, as listeners are eased into his new style so by the time ‘Brothers and Millions’ come in we get his point of view, anthemic Britpop choruses with David Bowie alien like vocals. ‘Zero Zero’ uses distortion like it’s going out of fashion but there is some distinct Arcade Fire influences on the latter part of the album.
Way described ‘Drugstore Perfume’ as ‘an American Common which is reaching a little but the dirty Britpop take on modern life is certainly there. How’s It Gonna Be is a little more solemn with its military beat while by final track ‘Maya the Psychic’ you get a distinct feeling that Gerard Way has worked out a style but not how to vary it enough.
A solid debut for the former frontman but it sounds rather one note. His dark take on the 90’s alternative sound works but every song drifts into one by the end.
Hesitant Alien is out Monday 30th September