Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mikeala AxToGrind: "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)"

"The future is bulletproof. The aftermath is secondary. It's time to do it now and do it loud. Killjoys, make some noise!" intones the character of Dr. Death Defying as the introduction to the new single "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" from the alt-rocking My Chemical Romance.

That's right, MCR is back, and with a catchy vengeance.

Despite claims of "no more concept albums," (the band has at least two story-telling albums under their belt already) the single reads like a tale of danger, decadence, and detonations, featuring the fictional Dr. Death Defying as a new-age carnival barker, and a mention of the (for now) mysterious "Battery City" -- a likely backdrop for the new album "Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys," out Nov. 22, 2010.

The single is propelled by (yep, you guessed it) a spirited chant of the non-word "Na" in a quick succession, which serves as a combination battle cry/insanely catchy hook. In addition to this not-a-word, there is also not-a-chorus so much as sort of motifs in the song, which include a randomly placed repetition of words and phrases like "detonation," "eat plastic surgery," and "give us more."

The absence of a chorus actually works very well with the song's raw feel, an encapsulation of a feeling of righteous anger and rebellion against conformity and stagnation. The choppy flow of lyrics feels purposely haphazard, an illusion of sloppiness in what is actually a very precisely timed song. As for the vocals themselves, founder and frontman Gerard Way never disappoints, delivering an fittingly stylized performance, sprawling from verse to verse.

The guitar is satisfying as always, sometimes taking a backseat to the power of the vocals, but rearing it snarling head in a burst of a solo towards the end of the song, blazing in a Brian May-touched fashion, but still distinctively from the fingers of lead guitarist Ray Toro.

Sadly, and is the slight downfall of many My Chem songs, the bass gets somewhat buried beneath the chaos of the powerful vocals and two guitarists. But perhaps it lives best overshadowed, providing a unsung hero of a back-bone in aid of the drums.

And, oh, the drums. The fantastic drums of the song sound suspiciously like the masterful work of Bob Bryar, the band's former drummer, who left during the recording of this album after six fruitful years with the band. This loss understandably slowed the release of the long-awaited album, the follow up to the platinum-selling epic "The Black Parade."

Overall, "Na Na Na" sounds like a warped protest song. As the band (not) so cryptically put in a recent promo video, "Art is the weapon against life as a symptom. Defend yourself." The art that is "Na Na Na" does just that, beating down "life as a symptom" with vivacious charm.

Care to defend yourself? Below is a link to the band-made lyric video for "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" I highly recommend it (obviously).

"Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)"

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