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Fan poll: 5 greatest My Chemical Romance songs of all time

For the millennials raised on Myspace, eyeliner, and hair dye, My Chemical Romance are way more than a band. Tapping into the post-9/11 brooding angst and anxiety, the band became synonymous with the emo scene (even if it meant turning Gerard Way into a hypocrite with his avowal to “never front the scene” on the […]

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For the millennials raised on Myspace, eyeliner, and hair dye, My Chemical Romance are way more than a band. Tapping into the post-9/11 brooding angst and anxiety, the band became synonymous with the emo scene (even if it meant turning Gerard Way into a hypocrite with his avowal to “never front the scene” on the popular track, “Thank You for the Venom”). The band birthed a generation of musical misfits, bridging the gap of punk rock and pop, and uniting fans across alternative rock’s many borders. 

Somehow, in the two decades since the band’s formation, they’ve managed to become more relevant with each passing year, inducting younger generations into the club. Surviving loss, tragedy, and a whopping eight-year hiatus, vocalist Gerard Way, guitarists Frank Iero and Ray Toro, and bassist Mikey Way truly found something special in life’s darkest moments, pulling out the rawest emotions as they explored the balance between romance and nihilism. 

Read more: 10 essential My Chemical Romance songs that encapsulate every era

For many fans, it may seem impossible to pick the best songs from the band’s sprawling catalog, but our readers are nothing if decisive. With iconic albums to work with, from 2004’s Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge to The Black Parade in 2006, we asked the fans what the best MCR songs of all time were, and here are their top five.

5. “Thank You for the Venom”

“Thank You for the Venom” is more than just a furiously fast-paced punk track with thrashing riffs and breathless vocals, but a touchstone of the band’s controversial history. In 2004, when Gerard Way sang the iconic line “I wouldn’t front the scene if you paid me,” he was completely serious. Nearly two decades later, Way’s earnest pushback against the media, is downright ironic. Four studio albums were all the band needed to become one of the most influential bands in emo. When MCR announced their reunion tour in 2019, they sold out stadiums across the globe in minutes. Turns out, they didn’t just front the scene, they were the scene. 

4. “Demolition Lovers”

This six-minute epic earns every minute of play time. The haunting track begins with a slow, eerie guitar riff that builds into an emotional crescendo of punk opera. The lyrics tell a woeful story of two lovers who will do anything to be together, even if it means destroying everything in their wake. Gerard Way’s vocals are brooding and forceful, holding pain in every note. The melancholic track has all the ingredients for a great MCR track: great storyline, theatrics, and some really heavy guitar riffs.

3. “Disenchanted

On The Black Parade, “Disenchanted” is arguably the most overlooked of the album’s three ballads. Sandwiched between the comical “Teenagers” and the emotional “Famous Last Words,” “Disenchanted” shines quietly. Centered around “the patient” as he heads towards his end, the track’s defeated nihilism delivers some of MCR’s most noteworthy lyrics around life, death, and mortality. Yet, even at its most cynical moments, there’s a tongue-in-cheek attitude that makes the track surprisingly upbeat. This somber yet glib song is where The Black Parade really earns its title of “rock opera,” a truly masterful power-ballad that ruminates on the futility of life.  

2. “Helena

The opening track of MCR’s Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge not only set the tone for the band’s second chapter — it truly cemented their place as the poster children for the 2000s emo scene. Inspired by the death of the Way brothers’ grandmother, who passed away during the making of the band’s second album, “Helena” is one of MCR’s rawest, most stunningly performances. Immortalized by Gerard Way carrying a coffin on his shoulders in a funereal music video that was played on heavy rotation on MTV, “Helena” remains the pinnacle of MCR aesthetic and sound. With Edgar Allan Poe lyrics, high-octane choruses, and an iconic piano melody that opens the gothic track, “Helena”’s legacy is still felt today.

1. “Famous Last Words

Gerard Way’s favorite track, “Famous Last Words” conveys more than MCR’s signature sound, but encapsulates the perseverance of a legendary band. Recording sessions for The Black Parade were intense and the band faced many obstacles. Gerard’s brother Mikey, the band’s bassist, left during this period, halting the band’s production. But out of this crisis, came one of their most poignant works. Frustrated, regretful and distressed: the lyrics were a desperately personal investigation of tough times. With insane guitar interplay between Toro and Iero, and an iconic music video that burns down the fictional band The Black Parade, “Famous Last Words” is as cathartic as it is ferocious.

Source: altpress.com

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