my chemical romance’s new album is drawing praises from almost everybody. they’re cool, hip, goth, infectious, and somewhat new. new because i can’t seem to remember any band who effectively meshed punk and goth sensibilities long after the misfits popularized horror punk.
sure, the band has talent. but i must say that i feel a certain amount of apprehension to all this punk-goth front that mcr is trumpeting for all its worth. at one end, you can call that dedication, or honesty, or living what they preach, or walking the talk, or whatever. but sometimes, it does seem forced. medyo oa. sure, gerard way’s got street cred to engage in all of this, what with his artsy-fartsy leanings and his degree in fine arts. but that still quite doesn’t quite make the cut, because it seems beside the point.
okay, i’m being honest. i’m saying this after watching their two latest videos, the black parade and famous last words. something in there tells me that there are corporate schemes pulling invisible strings in that output. it just seems forced. parang pilit. it seems so glossy and manicured. mcr was dressed to kill. everything is so neat. they are seriously playing up goth ethics to the letter that it just doesn’t seem quite right. it doesn’t seem so natural.
there’s a similar incident. there is this band called jet. they wear their garage-oldies-classic rock influences so proudly on their sleeves it makes them look like total morons. from the clothes, to their mustache, they are complete fuddyduddies of faded glory, awkwardly trying their best to approximate their sense of relevance and significance to a contemporary culture that otherwise renders their musical tastes and intelligent quotients very passé.
okay. maybe it’s just the videos and the get-up. there’s just a cringe factor that bubbles up whenever i see their costumes and the now quite predictable gothic texture of their videos. it just seems so choreographed and manufactured. (ihearthelvetica have some amusing “observations” on the famous last words video.)
mcr’s songs though are cool, but it just boils down to my personal perspective of spontaneity over the glossy. great music, at least for me, should look effortless, and in that sense, empowering. effortless excellence/elegance. the italians have a word for it-sprezzatura.
maybe i’m just more amused with the used than my chemical. hey, maybe that explains.