“I have all these amazing Britpop records, and I have shoegaze records, but I don’t have anything on the radio anymore,” Gerard Way says. “So the main objective was to change the landscape of music a bit. To kind of re-boot Britpop in America, see how that goes.”
This shit is so tight.
Hesitant Alien is aptly named; Gerard Way’s debut solo album does not fit in with the American landscape of music at all. It’s a bold endeavor, one that may have failed under another artist in another time. Indie rock is feeling stale – Pitchfork hasn’t paraded around a new artist in quite some time; even the emo revival is winding down – and My Chem’s hella devoted fan base has been clamoring for more music from the band’s comicbook – writing frontman. If there’s anyone that’s going to bring Britpop to the table, it’s Gerard Way in 2014.
Way is the master of opening an album. The Black Parade and Danger Days both tout superbly memorable introductions, and Hesitant Alien’s – while much more subdued – possesses the same style. “The Bureau” pulls the curtains with a fuzzy discord, a slow march of chords that gathers syncopation and notes until it’s become a bizarre and cool pallet of harmonies, like a fine wine. That’s right, Hesitant Alien is like a goddamn fine wine.
Lyrically, Hesitant Alien is far removed from his previous and aforementioned works such as Danger Days or The Black Parade (and particularly early My Chem); it’s not a tight concept album, unless you consider the album to be a conceptualization of how cool Gerard Way is.
Way’s lyrics sound like a compilation of cool one – liners from your favorite books and movies. They appear over – the – top sometimes, clearly influenced by comic book swagger. Sometimes so punk it’s campy and tongue – in – cheek: “Death to the crown maynnee.”
A large talking point in his relevant interviews has been the guitar tones used in the album. Unlike My Chemical Romance’s, this album has a widely varying spectrum of tones. It’s evident from the start in “The Bureau” that guitar tone – ranging from warm fuzzes to harsh trebles – is a thematic element of the record.
In short, this record is killer, and from what Gerard Way has said in interviews, it’s just the beginning, and it’s only going to get better from here. Do not sleep on this record or this dude. So without further ado:
OFFICIAL TRACK POWER RANKINGS:
1. No Shows
3. Action Cat
6. The Bureau
7. Zero Zero
8. Get The Gang Together
9. How It’s Going To Be
10. Drugstore Perfume
11. Maya The Psychic