Ok, ok, let’s first get this out of the way! Us die-hard MCR fans know full well that there are no real substitutes for My Chemical Romance. After all, no other group has quite famously changed the meaning of an opening G note the way they have (a la ‘The Black Parade’). In addition, the very real hype surrounding MCR’s reunion reveals just how loyal us fans have stayed (time to whip out the eyeliner again!) That being said, what other bands like My Chemical Romance are there? Or, to put it differently, what are a few lesser-known artists that long-time MCR fans might enjoy?
Well, here are 5 of our favorites that we think you’ll enjoy (No, not all are ’emo’!).
1. Payale Royale
While not yet a household name, Payale Royale are a popular act among those who enjoy bands like My Chemical Romance. Originally hailing from Canada, and now residing in Las Vegas, Payale Royale are – like MCR – no strangers to costumed attires and ample eyeliner. Interestingly, the group have been called ‘fashion-art rockers’ – and it’s easy to see why.
However, beyond mere aesthetics, Payale Royale share quite a few sonic similarities with My Chemical Romance. For starters, they know how to write effective (so-called) ’emo’ lyrics coupled with strong melodic hooks, set to aggressive guitars and hard-hitting drums. Songs like ‘Hang On To Yourself’ are also as anthemic as anything MCR has produced. In addition, lead vocalist Remington Leith sings with a kind of raw ferocity in his higher-octave voice in ways that Gerard Way fans are likely to approve of.
2. Coheed and Cambria
Take one listen to Coheed and Cambria’s ‘The Gutter’. You’ll likely hear shades of MCR’s Danger Days mixed in with some of the angrier parts of Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. In addition, there are some obvious hints of Queen at the 3:45 mark, echoing a few Black Parade moments. Genre-wise, the band falls somewhere between prog-rock and pop, with elements of post-hardcore.
If it wasn’t obvious enough from the video, Coheed and Cambria are also huge comic book geeks like members of MCR. When it comes to vocals, we think singer Claudio Sanchez really has a unique style of his own. He is especially great at switching effortlessly between raging screamo and a distinctly higher-pitched crystal clear voice. Incidentally, Claudio, like Gerard Way, has written and published his very own comic books series. Cool!
Also check out: 5 Bands like Green Day
No, not the MCR song – the band! Dead! has been gaining a steady cult following for quite a number of years now. They’re often cited by Reddit MCR fans as one of the better bands like My Chemical Romance.
However, Dead! are by no means mere copycats. If anything, the band has cultivated an appealing sound of their own. Case in point: their full length album, The Golden Age of Not Even Trying, channels both the energy of middle-day MCR (amog other similar bands) and the swag of 2000s Brit rock. Whether the latter is an intentional inspiration or not, we don’t quite know. But, damn, the Dead! sound great!
It’s a bit of a shame that sections of their official site are a little… dead! (we couldn’t resist). We hope someone updates it soon. Here’s crossing our fingers that Dead! comes to a town near you eventually.
4. Doll Skin
Not all bands like My Chemical Romance need to be all-male. Doll Skin are a full female act that’ll easily please MCR fans. Originating from Phoenix, Arizona, they may not be dressed in uniformed garbs, but make no mistake about it. Similar to MCR, the group are masters at crafting catchy guitar anthems with headbangin’ choruses and emotive singalong lyrics. In short, Doll Skin are most definitely worth a listen!
But, hey, don’t just take our word for it. Since forming in 2013, Doll Skin have won a number of notable music awards, including the Heavy Metal Television Awards in 2016 for ‘Breakout Band of the Year’.
Personally, we adore bassist Nicole Rich who – like MCR’s Frank Iero – just always looks like she’s having a blast, going nuts on stage. Gotta love the show-womanship!
5. Pierce The Veil
Loyal fans of MCR are quick to name Pierce The Veil as one of their favorite bands like My Chemical Romance (kinda). By most measures, the band is much heavier, borrowing generously from post-hardcore and even heavy metal influences. Our favorite track from them is ‘King For A Day’, where all these elements shine amid a beautifully furious whole.
Pierce The Veil are, like MCR, widely praised for their live energetic performances. Lyrically, their songs are as inwardly aggressive as they are a call-to-arms for a generation of teens growing up. Akin to Gerard Way’s gift, singer Vic Fuentes also has a knack for snarling in his higher voice register, his words carrying bite and emotional impact.