The monumental announcement of a My Chemical Romance reunion show - which soon became a reunion tour - got us thinking.
With four albums and various EPs’ worth of material, there is no shortage of incredible guitar moments in MCR's catalogue, thanks to the contrasting six-string approaches of Ray Toro and Frank Iero.
I Brought You My Bullets brought us punk, Three Cheers took an alt-rock tilt, The Black Parade delivered operatic rock and Danger Days revisited pop-punk.
With that, we’ve put together what we think are six of the best MCR guitar moments.
1. Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)
The inventively titled Na Na Na features a remarkably catchy guitar solo. The section opens with a synth-influenced guitar melody which mirrors the infectious and anthemic hook.
This is shortly followed by an MCR-signature harmonized extension of the song’s main hook from Toro and Iero. The solo climaxes in a rising guitar lick which leads perfectly back into the anthemic group vocal hook. A comfortably earned place on this list.
2. I Don't Love You
While a relatively simple guitar solo, this piece of musical magic crafted by lead guitarist Ray Toro follows the heart-wrenching lyrics, successfully communicating via the guitar to comprehensively encapsulate MCR’s emo ethos in only a little over 20 seconds.
3. Famous Last Words
It’s clear why this track is one of MCR’s most popular. The simple yet ear-bendingly catchy guitar riff should be on the must-learn list of guitar players of all levels. The guitar solo is less prominent and attention-grabbing than other notable MCR solos, but in this instance, that's precisely why it works.
Guitar, bass, drums, an orchestral section and Gerard Way’s vocals all compete for space in this busy section, but thanks to the production prowess on this record, each element marries together beautifully. This track will surely have you shredding on your air guitar.
One of the more popular tracks in the MCR catalogue, Teenagers is infectiously interactive. The catchy and anthemic chorus makes it hard not to sing along.
The opening guitar riff is simple, yet makes full use of multiple guitar techniques, including deft hammer-ons and palm-muting, resulting in a fantastically vocal riff that complements the Gerard Way's melodies beautifully.
In full MCR style, the simplest guitar solo can be sung. Everything in this track is sing-along - and we love it.
The second track on The Black Parade features a solo that has no problem ranking on this list. Not only is it filled with impressive and technically demanding licks, but the production is second to none.
With a warm, crunchy guitar tone that’s nicely balanced in the mix, and creative use of panning from left to right which complements the answer and call melody, plus a harmonized lick between Toro and rhythm guitarist Frank Iero, this section hits you with everything in the MCR creative arsenal and finishes with a dramatic instrumental dropout that leaves you wanting more.
6. Welcome to the Black Parade
No MCR list is complete without Welcome to the Black Parade. The titular song on the band's defining album helped redefine operatic rock for a new generation. In an almost emo-Bohemian Rhapsody fashion, Queen's influence lies strong within this track.
Standout guitar moments are in abundance in this macabre rock-opera masterpiece. The intro includes guitar parts which are instrumental in carrying the track to its first crescendo before the tempo change.
Beginning with subtle, low-volume guitar lines that act as counter-melodies to Gerard Way's vocals, the parts rise in the mix upon the entry of the drums, and build to the nuanced distorted MCR guitar tone we know and love.
The guitars are used in the same way after the key change in the middle eight, building to a glorious crescendo leading into the final chorus.