My Chemical Romance: Conventional Weapons (to date)

The lost album is lost no more.

Conventional Weapons is composed of the 10 songs My Chemical Romance made – and shelved – in the space between The Black Parade and Danger Days. I titled this post “Conventional Weapons (to date)” because they’re eschewing a traditional album release and instead putting the songs two at a time over the course of several months, and so far only four have been released. Two more will emerge in mid-December, and the last four will surface in early January and February.

Not going to lie, this is maddening.

I want the whole thing, all of the songs, and I want it right now, so I can lie down on my kitchen floor with my iPod and crank it up and plunge in.

But I cannot have it, so I must be patient, and absorb them as they arrive.

So far my reaction is: This is very interesting.

The songs contains their evolution, as a band, and are an aural fork in the road, the point where The Black Parade finally shambled to a halt, and when it came time to choose their adventure, they walked briefly down a simpler (and so far, angrier) path before turning towards a candy-colored apocalypse.

The seeds of the bouncier, dance-inflected world of Danger Days are there, but the more I listen to the songs, the more I think some of them could have come directly after Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge.

The following are some more detailed observations:

1A: Boy Division: Propulsive and soaring; whenever they go on tour again, the pit will be screaming along with lines like I’m not dead / I only dress that way and Take me out there / far away / save me from my self-destruction/ Hopeless for ya /Sing a song for California. Extra points to anyone old enough to get the pun-reference in the title!

1B:Tomorrow’s Money: You fell in love with a vampire / A torch-song for the empire / So say hello to the brush-fire. Well, yes, Mr. Way, we did. But being a teen idol, even (especially?) the freak-show teen idol, it takes a toll. I sympathize with your urge to light it all on fire even as I walk closer to warm myself by the pyre.

2A: Ambulance: Honestly, this is the one that I can’t decide how I feel. I like it a general I like My Chem sort of way, but I also think it’s sort of muddled and incomplete. Essentially, though, it’s a coda to Tomorrow’s Money‘s commentary on being the freak-show teen idol. File under: Hmmm.

2B:Gun.: Naturally the one that is explicitly about an actual weapon is the one they release with cover art that has nothing to do with the weapon in question. Oh My Chem, never change. Also, it’s an anti-war song. Again, I like it in a general sort of way. I’m not going to flip past it when it comes up on shuffle but I’m also not going to seek it out to listen to it obsessively as I totally did with Boy Division.

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