Say what you like about the Emo Wars currently tearing the nation’s playgrounds in two, but Gerard Way remains far too good a pop star to be wasted on 14-year-olds. Having already given us a gore-splattered rock opera about vampires wreaking havoc in the desert (‘Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge’) and, in ‘The Black Parade’, followed it with a preconception-pulverising pop noir which starts in a cancer ward and features a cameo by Liza Minelli, the time has come for MCR to recommence their relentless march towards the planet’s stadiums.
Which, of course, requires huge pop singles, no matter how bathed in blood. Alive with resilience and regret, ‘Famous Last Words’ finds MCR at their pulverising, pug-ugly best, Way’s vocals lost in a sludge of guitars while he struggles, yet again, to find a way out of the moral maze posed by post-9/11 America: “I’m not afraid to keep on living/I’m not afraid to walk this world alone”, yells Way, before babbling some incomprehensible stuff about black hotel mirrors.
So what if, in the great roll-call of pop polemic, ‘The Black Parade’ ends up as long-lasting as girl power? In a time when our own stars