My Chemical Romance
Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge
rior to this record, the best thing done by this New Jersey quintet was a song called “Vampires Will Never Hurt You”. It sounded like three emo songs stapled together, minus the whining, it was about, yes, the undead, and by the time Gerard Way was begging his lover to stake him before the sun went down, you practically had whiplash. There are many things about My Chemical Romance that might initially strike you as dodgy, but the sheer blast force of their music is hard to resist.
It helps that Way and company prove to have a sense of humour, not to mention a sense of pacing. The album “Vampires Will Never Hurt You” issued from, the rather wonderfully titled I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love was intense but not quite compressed enough—some of the tracks, like “Skylines And Turnstiles” had enough force to break through the thin production, but too much of the record sputtered.
With Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge they’ve kept the hyper-romantic, dark (I wouldn’t call them Goth, but they’re not far from it), fatalistic and blackly humourous worldview, moved to a bigger label, got a better producer, and shot out twelve near-flawless songs and an interlude in thirty-nine minutes that, even when it lets up, doesn’t let up. The longest song, closer “I Never Told You What I Do For A Living”, lasts an epic three minutes and fifty-one seconds. Every song is tightly coiled, bursting with muscle and tunefulness, and My Chemical Romance take the music seriously enough that you can too. There’s humour here (Way’s deadpan, spoken “Trust me” in the middle of “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” is a personal favorite), but the gang isn’t winking at you, which makes it easier to get behind the outlandish stories being told.
The band has left behind some of the more complicated structures they worked with last time, but for an album with as relatively little dramatic range as this one, Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge flows startlingly well, moving swiftly from especially melodic opener “Helena” into a set of songs strongly influenced by hardcore punk, but with enough character to avoid facelessness. The fact that most of the choruses invade your brain after two or three listens helps.