“Hesitant Alien”

Jake Tapley


“Hesitant Alien” is the first full-length release we’ve heard from Gerard Way since the breakup of his longtime successful band My Chemical Romance.

And I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s probably the most consistent effort he’s ever given us.

Despite great albums like “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge” or “The Black Parade,” the latter of which would probably have to be my favorite My Chemical Romance album, I think Gerard Way finds his true form in “Hesitant Alien.”

The album opens with the noisy, post-punk edge of “Bureau,” which I feel is a great starting point to enter the album. The song, which is short and sweet, helps set up the tonal differences from his past work.

This is a return to a rougher around the edges style production that harkens earlier My Chemical Romance albums. The end of “Bureau” even feels a bit experimental, which is different from the work we have come to expect from a Gerard Way project.

Even still, a strong Britpop influence is evident throughout much of the record.

The two singles released before the album – “Action Cat” and “No Shows” – demonstrate this quite well.

“Action Cat” feels like fairly familiar territory. It could have easily found its way onto a later My Chemical Romance record.

“No Shows,” on the other hand, is much more reminiscent of the style bands like The Killers and Franz Ferdinand have explored in-depth. It even slips into more experimental indie rock territory with the addition of a saxophone – yes, a saxophone – solo.

The thing that makes these sonic shifts work is that they all feel grounded in the same general sound.

Gerard Way has been prominent in the contemporary alternative music scene for over a decade now. He seems to know what he’s doing.