New Jersey's My Chemical Romance deliver tightly wound aggression in melodious ways. Their hyper, scream-drenched choruses and metal-flicked guitar lines have earned MCR comparisons to fellow New Jersey-ites Thursday, and the two bands have crossed paths more than once: both recorded for Eyeball Records, and Thursday vocalist Geoff Rickly produced MCR's debut album. But MCR's therapy-session alt rock defines its own space, tying up all its disparate influences (Iron Maiden, the Smiths) into one cohesive, explosive whole.
Singer-songwriter Gerard Way and his high-school pal, drummer Matt Pelissier, formed the band in 2001. Within a year, guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero and bassist Mikey Way (Gerard's little brother) had rounded the group out to a quintet. Their sophomore release, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, garnered national attention and critical acclaim. Before they could enjoy their success, however, the band had to contend with the departure of Pelissier (who was replaced by Bob Bryar) and the elder Way's issues with drug abuse and depression. But they returned, darkly triumphant as usual, with 2006's The Black Parade.