When My Chemical Romance broke up last year, it was the end of an era for the once beloved and always ambitious New Jersey band, whose 2004’s Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge became one of the most popular albums of the MTV2/emo era and 2006’s The Black Parade being one of the best (and only) epic mainstream rock albums of the last decade.
But now, after a year of silence, former MCR frontman Gerard Way has traded in the black eyeliner and emo Sgt. Pepper’s outfit for some red hair and a new mission – to make the Britpop/Shoegazing album he’s always wanted to make.
“I have all these amazing Britpop records, and I have shoegaze records, but I don’t have anything on the radio anymore. So the main objective was to change the landscape of music a bit. To kind of re-boot Britpop in America.” he tells Rolling Stone about his solo debut, Hesitant Alien, which is due September 30th.
The album’s first single “No Shows” is a dramatic shift from the darkness of MCR to a more colorful direction that name-checks Blur and My Bloody Valentine as inspiration. Yet Hesitant Alien is not a tribute album to Britpop. It is an exciting album full of visual and sonic exploration from one of modern rock’s most enduring frontmen who sounds like he has rediscovered his love of Pulp’s Different Class. From listening to “No Shows” you can still hear Way’s trademark voice and his uncanny ability to write melodies that will remind fans that there is indeed life after the black parade.
Check out the music video for “No Shows” below and click here to read the Rolling Stone interview in which Way talks about the end of MCR, his love for the movie Trainspotting, and the new recording process he used for Hesitant Alien.