Review: The Foundations of Decay by My Chemical Romance

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This is not a drill! My Chemical Romance just dropped their first new song since 2014’s Fake Your Death, and it’s everything any diehard fan could have hoped for and more. Since their reunion announcement on October 31 2019, fans have continually questioned just when they could expect new music. It’s safe to say none of us expected it to come in the form of a surprise release on Friday the 13th – a date infamous for its bad luck, which now seems to bring good luck to MCR fans.

The sudden release has fans going absolutely wild, and at the time of writing, ‘My Chemical Romance’ was number 1 on Twitter’s worldwide trending list and number 5 on the United Kingdom trending list. One fan (user @kissofviolence) tweeted, “I cannot believe that My Chemical Romance just dropped a song out of nowhere. Absolutely no build up to the release at all and it’s still sending every fan into a frenzy.” One thing cannot be denied, and that is the sheer star power MCR continues to have two decades after their formation.

The six-minute single is reminiscent of the band’s first album I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, which was released in 2002. It relies heavily on frontman Gerard Way’s vocal ability to range from a soft and ominous tone, to animalistic growls full of emotion which were a key feature of the band’s first album. The differentiation between that first album and this single lies solely in the production quality – as the album is known for its heavy distortion and being honestly quite difficult to hear clearly. This single has a fresh sense of clarity, while still dipping into the gritty and distorted style MCR is known for. For a long term fan, it’s nice to acknowledge the clear growth and long-formed professionalism of the band’s production while still sticking close to their roots. It opens with nothing but blaring static, before moments later being merged with a mellowed electric guitar and piano, and a relaxing mild drumbeat which ushers in the raw and distorted vocals of Way. The ballad quickly erupts into an emotional crescendo, establishing that MCR as we know them are well and truly back and here to stay.

Way appears to make reference to the 9/11 attacks, which he previously states as the reason he formed the band in 2001. He sings: “And he was there, the day the towers fell / And so he wandered down the road / And we would all build towers of our own / Only to watch the roots corrode / But it’s much too late / You’re in the race / So we’ll press / And press ‘til you can’t take it anymore.” This seemingly illustrates the band’s formation, break up and subsequent reformation; showing how they as a group have evolved and grown throughout their career, and how they are now able to push through the pressures put on them by fans and their label to raise the bar with each album, which caused the significant strain between the members and the overwhelming pressure that led to their initial disbandment.

The Foundations of Decay is a powerful and impactful comeback single, which signifies more good things to come from the band. It has set a precedent for what fans can expect from their highly anticipated rumoured upcoming album – and I for one am extremely excited to hear what MCR has in store for us in the second half of 2022. The My Chemical Romance Reunion tour kicked off on 16 May, starting at the Eden Project, St Austell, so it is unlikely an album is to be released any time soon. But who knows, they may just surprise us again.

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