With a UK stadium tour kicking off next week, My Chemical Romance have been leaving fans to wonder whether it will be a purely nostalgic setlist. It seems the answer is no, as they return today with their first new single in eight years, “The Foundations Of Decay”, and they’re on such imposing form that we can only hope that there’s more to come.
“The Foundations of Decay” is a far cry from the MTV-friendly sound of their debut album, but feels like a natural continuation of their succeeding albums in the way it uses arena rock dynamics to create towering drama that emphasises the storytelling in Gerard Way’s words. His narrative talent is on full display as he describes “the man who stands upon the hill” who “dreams of all the battles won” – which some fans are already saying is a metaphor for the beleaguered band themselves. My Chemical Romance pull the song through trembling low-points and infernal riffs to mirror the trials of the protagonist, whose war-torn body is crumbling in old age; “let the flesh submit itself to gravity”. This traipse through the antihero’s bloody history diverts into a hardcore breakdown before culminating in an excoriating finale where Way professes “you must fix your heart / and you must build an alter where it rests.” As ever, they won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but many fans will justifiably rejoice at this fulsome return.