Swapping gothic pomp for metallic power pop, My Chemical Romance may streamline their excesses on Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, the sequel to their 2006 magnum opus The Black Parade, but they by no means excise their indulgences. Drama is hardwired within MCR, due in part to the leadership of Gerard Way, a lead singer who writes comic books on the side and can’t help but have his other calling seep into the fabric of Danger Days, constructing an absurd sci-fi narrative about a gang of anti-corporate renegades in the far-distant year of 2019. By setting their dystopia just nine years in the future, MCR run the risk of creating the rock & roll answer to Richard Kelly's Southland Tales, but the near-nonsensical narrative is incidental on Danger Days. What matters is the sheer rush of sound: the riffs and hooks bash against each other, pushing the record forward at a breakneck speed; the band will suddenly swing from clenched punk rhythms to the strobe-light disco of “Planetary (GO!).” Certain references pop up, either in Way’s lyrics or in the buzzsaw guitars of Ray Toro and Frank Iero, these studied cultural allusions replacing teen angst as MCR’s touchstone, a shift that has the ultimate effect of lightening the band’s music considerably. There’s no emo bloodletting, no expressionist confrontations with death, just exaggerated adolescent anthems and calls to rebellion, just enough drama so this could be called cathartic by a certain generation, but for most listeners it’s crystallized fun, the purest rush My Chemical Romance has ever delivered.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine