This is a tough post to write, considering My Chemical Romance have always been my favourite band and saved my teenage life countless times with their songs. Call that a cliche, but it's impossible to accept they've gone now, so I'm always finding clues to prove that the end of MCR is a publicity stunt, and Fake Your Death is the biggest so far.
Let's start with the title. Fake Your Death. While this blends in seamlessly with MCR's dramatic image from the moment Skylines and Turnstiles was penned, it seems like an unusual track name to bow out on. If Gerard wanted fans to believe this was the endgame for MCR, he could've picked a less misleading title than this. Considering the phrase 'fake your death' only emerges once in the lyrics, and MCR are fond of either picking a totally irrelevant name or something repeated consistently throughout, perhaps 'look at all that pain' would have sufficed.
The farewell track was released alongside an accompanying video, featuring all the most heartbreaking scenes from their music videos and other clips of the band. I have to admit, if I hadn't seen the video, I wouldn't have bawled my eyes out in front of everyone in the university cafe. The best on-screen moments of MCR's career set to a reflective track set me up for floods of tears, but then again, I always love a good tear-jerking music video. Would the song have worked without the video? It doesn't feel like an epic standalone track like Famous Last Words, which didn't even need a video of the band just performing the song. But it also doesn't feel like an album-filler that would need a full-on concept video to over-exaggerate its importance. My Chem made a cracker of a contemplative video for a song that puts the final nail in the coffin of a band that relied on its themes and concepts to reinvent after each album.
Ash Costello from New Years Day, well known as a fellow MCR fanatic, said that she didn't feel like MCR's heart was in this track, and that it was the right time for them to say goodbye as they were losing their spark. To an extent, I agree that they pulled the plug at a convenient time to ensure they didn't plummet into the depths of pop, but I can't agree that their heart isn't in this. Sure, it's no Demolition Lovers, it's not a patch on Drowning Lessons, and it's by no means a Welcome to the Black Parade, but taken in the context of a band trying to say goodbye without providing hope of a return, Fake Your Death is a valiant surrender to the winds of change.
If it really is a fake death, then MCR have pulled a blinder. If it isn't, I'll accept that I'm wrong, but what's a girl to do but clutch at straws when the band that saved her life is at stake? Fake Your Death is a beautiful, heartbreaking goodbye to My Chemical Romance, and I couldn't have asked for anything better. Farewell, my heroes.