It comes, fittingly enough, in the form of one final song: “Fake Your Death,” taken from their career-capping greatest-hits comp May Death Never Stop You (due March 25). According to MCR, it’s “one of the last songs we worked on in the studio together,” presumably in 2012. And yes, it’s exactly the kind of dramatic and bombastic farewell you’d expect from a band who traded almost exclusively in theatrics.
Lead by a pounding piano and rhythmic handclaps, “Fake Your Death” is a bittersweet ballad, with frontman Gerard Way seemingly reflecting on the band’s rise, while, at the same time, bidding farewell to MCR’s fervent fans (“You want the heart, oh, to be saved/But even good guys still get paid,” he sings. “So watch my back/and keep the blade/I think it got you laid.”) Of course, the song builds to a soaring chorus, with Way lamenting “Just look at all that pain” while guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero create a cacophony of chords and triumphant solos.
It’s an eerily prescient song, one that, to me, hearkens back to MCR’s Queen-inspired Black Parade era, at least in scope and sentiment. And if this really is the last song we ever hear from them, it’s definitely a fitting send-off. Then again, consider its title … perhaps it’s a winking nod to Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn attending their own funerals, and this is all part of some elaborate (and quite lengthy) ruse that will pay off in a grand return from the band. Or maybe I’m just not ready to say goodbye.
Either way, “Fake Your Death” is a true testament to My Chemical Romance’s enduring greatness: they’re the rare band that still manages to amaze from beyond the grave