Killjoys, make some noise. This one goes out to you.
We all know the classics: “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” and “Helena” off ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge’, the “Emo Bohemian Rhapsody” otherwise known as “Welcome to the Black Parade” and “Teenagers” off of ‘The Black Parade’ and the upbeat and daring “Na Na Na” off of ‘Danger Days’. These are all considered to be the best releases that My Chemical Romance has ever given the scene, and rightfully so. Other than the timeless bops that just about anyone and everyone knows, what about the rest of My Chem’s releases that were never given the love and attention they oh so rightfully deserve? Well, look alive, sunshine; and buckle up! We’re about to countdown the top ten most UNDERRATED My Chemical Romance songs of all time.
But first, here are some honorable mentions:
- “F.T.W.W.W” // ‘The Mad Gear And Missile Kid’ EP
“F.T.W.W.W”, off of ‘The Mad Gear and Missile Kid’ EP, a deep cut from the 2010 ‘Danger Days’ era earned itself an honorable mention on our list of the most underrated My Chem songs of all time, and the reason is simply because we got a track that will straight up make you blush. The song features some of the band’s most explicitly racy lyrics, like “She said come on, come on, kiss my battery. Come on, come on and fuck this whole wide world”, Red haired Gerard and those lyrics? It automatically lands it at least an honorable mention on our list.
- “Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back” // ‘Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys’
“Save Yourself I’ll Hold Them Back” , another 2010 ‘Danger Days‘ era track, features a lot of the band’s upbeat, fast paced punk influences that just quite honestly did not get enough love in the midst of the rest of the album. The song is stellar all around- with cool conceptual lyrics and killer vocals, with it overall having a fun and totally badass vibe that was completely outshined by the rest of the record. It was without a doubt that this hidden gem earned itself an honorable mention on this list!
10. “Kill All Your Friends” // ‘The Black Parade (B-Sides)’
Kicking off our list is the 2009 ‘The Black Parade’ B-Side “Kill All Your Friends”. It didn’t make the cut on the iconic album, and while we can totally understand how it doesn’t have a proper place on the record, we really, really wish it did. This track is My Chemical Romance in their purest form; with a reflection of their theatrical style and dark (sometimes macabre) lyrics, it gives us an explosive rock opera style staple the band is well known for especially during their Black Parade era- but considering it never made it past the B-Sides, “Kill All Your Friends” landed a spot on the list.
9. “Summertime” // ‘Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys’
While this track may not be as underrated as some of the rest that are going to be mentioned in this list, it still does not get nearly enough credit as it should. The ‘Danger Days’ era was definitely a curveball for My Chemical Romance, landing a few records like “Sing” and “Bulletproof Heart” on the mainstream radio in 2010. Considering this, you would think that this airy, upbeat and beautifully written track would have also gotten as much credit as the rest did, but it somehow fell short in comparison. “Summertime” features a very “new wave” alternative style, with heartfelt lyrics that are allegedly said to be written about frontman Gerard Way’s wife. If this track had gotten more traction, it most likely would have been one that everyone knew, no matter what genre you were into at the time, which is why it landed itself a spot on the list.
8. “Cubicles” // ‘I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love’
MCR’s “Cubicles” off their 2002 debut album, ‘I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love’, tends to often be overlooked on this album. The track, which is conceptual, written from the point of you of an awkward, inexperienced- in- romance man who seems to be working a repetitive, boring job. As the story progresses, he sees a girl he loves, but she soon goes away leaving him heartbroken and pondering life all over again. While the concept seems to be fairly common and in description not all that exciting; the band somehow creates a masterpiece of a song, with incredible, vivid lyrics, a sick riff by guitarist Ray Toro, and an overall fantastic and underrated gem off of ‘Bullets’ that showcased how great of storytellers they are and it deserved so much more than it received.
7. “Boy Division” // ‘Conventional Weapons’
Off of their compilation album ‘Conventional Weapons’, My Chem’s “Boy Division” gives us a glimpse at the band’s punk influence in its purest form. The face paced, upbeat track features stellar riffs and overall instrumentals as a whole, classic punk style vocals with the iconic Gerard flair, and a whole lot of post-punk angst that leaves us with a super solid and amazing studio performance from the entire collective band. Considering this was off of the singles compilation, it never gained as much traction as other releases on the actual albums did, but if it ended up on one it most likely would have been a fan favorite because of the sheer fun experience it is to listen to it. With angsty, edgy punk lyrics like “It better be black, it better be tight, it better be just my size. I’m stalking these metro malls and airport halls And all these schoolgirls… I’m not asking, you’re not telling…He’s not dead, he only looks like that”, “Boy Division” is definitely an underrated classic.
6. “Heaven Help Us” // ‘The Black Parade (B-Sides)
Considering the 2009 track “Heaven Help Us” is a B-Side from ‘The Black Parade’, it makes sense that it was completely outshined by the holy grail that the record was (and still is to this day). Despite this, however, as a stand alone B-side track, it is a damn near flawless song. Although it’s an era later, the song also gives us a bit of a ‘Three Cheers’ vibe, being that it’s not nearly as operatic as the rest of ‘Black Parade’, but rather on the post- punk end of the MCR spectrum. The B-Sides of the ‘Black Parade’ have faded to the background of the band’s career, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t still go as hard as the rest of the frontrunners do, which is why “Heaven Help Us” undoubtedly needed to be featured on this list.
5. “Hang ‘Em High” // ‘Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge’
It is no secret that My Chemical Romance has always had a special theatrical flare to their music, (even before their ‘Black Parade’ era), and “Hang ‘Em High” is a primetime example of this. The track, which is named after the 1968 Western starring Clint Eastwood, features heavy punk influences, mixed with western theatrics and another example of the band showcasing their talent of storytelling through their extreme lyrical skill. The track also features Keith Morris of the legendary Black Flag, but due to the explosive fame that the rest of ‘Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge’ had received, “Hang ‘Em High” was unfortunately overlooked and deserves a hell of a lot more recognition that it receives even to this day.
4. “Desert Song” // ‘Life On The Murder Scene’
This one goes out to all the realest of the real My Chemical Romance fans out there, because if you already know this one, you know damn well we had no choice than to place this in the top five most underrated of all time. “Desert Song”, off the 2006 release of ‘Life on the Murder Scene’ from the ‘Revenge’ era, is one of the only acoustic tracks the band ever released, and it is, in short; haunting. The heart wrenching ballad features Gerard’s iconic vocals, that will leave you with goosebumps and chills every single time you listen to it. The track was intended on never actually being released, and it is said that it was recorded when Gerard was in a very dark place, and you can definitely feel that with every word he sings. If “Desert Song” was featured on any album, it’s without a doubt that it would have been up there as one of My Chemical Romance’s most iconic tracks of all time.
3. “Drowning Lessons” // ‘I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love’
Yes, “Drowning Lessons” is considered to be an underrated track, and this is why.
Having perhaps one of the absolute best guitar riffs and overall performances that guitarist Ray Toro gave us, all around heartbreaking, sing-back-able and “could have been” iconic lyrics on top of the dramatic flair of the theatrical style the band does so well, the reason for why “Drowning Lessons” will go down as one of the most underrated My Chemical Romance songs of all time is because we never got to experience it live, and probably never will. If we’re being real, if the band ever did this one outside of the studio, it might’ve gotten more hype than it originally has always gotten, and it’s a shame because the track is punk, operatic, dramatic, and everything you’d expect from the guys-amplified.
2. “I Never Told You What I Do For A Living” // ‘Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge’
Have you ever needed to prepare yourself for a song? If not, then you need to listen to this one.
Runner up for best most underrated My Chemical Romance track is none other than the absolute rollercoaster of a song “I Never Told You What I Do For a Living” off ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge’. This is way more than just a song, it’s a damn experience. The closing track has so many layers to it; with its overall composition and build up to the explosive ending being straight up unpredictable in the best imaginable way. The lyrical storytelling, the chest-pounding vocals, screams that you feel in your bones, and complex composition make for a musical concoction that is just too good to put into a few words. The song fell short with the mainstream of the scene, however, being outshined by some of the bands biggest and most popular tracks to date. Perhaps the lack of success that “I Never Told You What I Do For a Living” got in comparison is to be blamed on it being the closing track, but what we do know is that it truly deserves so much more of an applaud than its gotten after all these years.
1. “Early Sunsets Over Monroeville” // ‘I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love’
Taking the crown for THE most underrated My Chemical Romance song of all time is without a single doubt, “Early Sunsets Over Monroeville” off of ‘I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love’. The track is nothing short of masterful, with arguably the best composition of a song the band has aside from the classic “Welcome to the Black Parade.”
Let’s start with the actual concept of the song; with it being a tale of two lovers who are torn apart by a zombie apocalypse, written as an ode to one of Gerard’s alleged favorite films Dawn of the Dead. The ballad starts off with an airy, almost playful feel, and as it progresses, it quickly turns into a dark, borderline terrifying nightmare with some of the most heart wrenching and outright haunting performances Gerard Way had ever given to this day. Some fans have speculated there is a double meaning to the song, that it could also be taken as a metaphor for someone who is losing their sanity and their battle with mental health as time goes on. You can feel the devastation in his voice progress with not just every verse but every word. It has also been rumored that the rest of the band had to leave the studio and take a break after recording this track because Gerard had “transformed” in the booth beyond recognition and it took a toll on everyone. Considering the complexity of the composition and overall production of the track, the rumors behind the actual recording, the conceptual storytelling, and the idea that people still discuss what the real meaning of this could be, it is not just underrated, but a masterful piece of art that at second glance could be one of My Chemical Romance best songs of all time, hands down.
Did your favorite underrated track make the list? Let us know!