A little over a year ago, when My Chemical Romance announced their break up, everyone’s inner middle school emo rock aficionado wept bitter tears, but for Gerard Way, the music would not die. With his debut solo album, Hesitant Alien, he keeps the My Chem fire burning and then some.
Way brings a clear influence from his days as the former front man of the beloved rock band with fast and loud guitars tangled with rough vocals and deafening drums on tracks like “Juarez,” making the transition from band lead singer to solo artist easier on already established fans of his music. It isn’t all just noisy rock music, though. There’s a unique artistry as always with the way he uses his voice to create a dramatic effect on even the simplest of lyrics, and that’s reminiscent of the work heard on My Chemical Romance’s last studio album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.
There’s elements of British pop present throughout the album as well, prominent in tracks like “How It’s Going To Be,” with lighter vocals and smoother, more upbeat drum rhythms. In the final track of the album, “Maya the Psychic,” Way combines his signature rock anthem refrains with a catchy tune fans are sure to dance to in the privacy of their bedrooms, melding his old world with the new one quite successfully.
The biggest criticism that can really be made with this album is how sometimes, on certain tracks, like “No Shows,” the actual words get lost in the instruments and a heavy use of distortion during the verse, making it a harder task than necessary to discern what Way is saying. While listening to the composition is still fun, it becomes a mild nuisance trying to crack the code of the lyrics due to a simple lack of enunciation.
Overall, the album portrays a different type of musician than fans of the singer are used to seeing, but they won’t be disappointed. Hesitant Alien comes out Tuesday, September 30. Take a listen below!