My Chemical Romance ended their eight year musical drought on May 12th by surprising fans with a new single, “The Foundations of Decay.” This six minute track brought what I was looking for from a MCR revival – a great blend of their previous sound and some of Gerard Way’s solo work. The result is a more mature track than what would be found on Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge or The Black Parade, but still captures the raw emotion that the band is known for.
The track opens with distortion and simple guitar chords by Ray Toro before bringing in Way’s vocals. The verses are muted and emotional, with percussion simply keeping time. However, the pre-chorus ramps up quickly and intensely, allowing the explosive chorus to hit the listener with a wall of sound. After the second chorus, the bridge creates chaos in that wall with swirling guitar riffs and unyielding drums while Way screams out. This all comes to a screeching halt in the final minute, bringing back that simple guitar line and haunting vocals, only for the track to finish with a bang and total instrumental breakdown.
Throughout, the lyrics depict some of the darker themes MCR is known for. Way sings of how their past successes have taken an emotional toll on the band members, grappling with depression, struggling with their legacy, and even references witnessing the towers fall on 9/11. The track also references their previous albums (including Danger Days, this writer’s personal favorite), and that they must grow and build something new from their “decay” after taking such a long hiatus. Gerard Way, Ray Toro, Mikey Way, and Frank Iero have proven that they have only gotten better with time, and this tour will bring fans everything their nostalgic hearts desire.