welcome folks! this week we’re back with My Chemical Romance’s major label debut, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, released in 2003. this album is billed as a concept record about a man killing 1000 evil people in order to be reunited with his lost lover – i’ll get into that a little more in the reviews and the wrap up but it shaped the way i approached the record, since it’s talked about so much around this record, that i figured i’d mention it up front as well.

okay i know i said this is a concept record but they definitely kick things of with Helena, a song that Gerard way has said is about his feelings about not being there for his grandmother in the year before she died. this can definitely be interpreted in a way that fits for the theme, but it’s not the most obvious connection, haha. thematic components aside, this is a great opener! very high energy, very passionate vocal delivery, and a very clean package. Give ’em Hell, Kid is p fun – keeping the energy breakneck, introducing the separated lovers. The End is based on a William Faulkner story about a woman who kills her husband when she suspect he’ll leave her for another man. extremely catchy track. unsure how this connects to the dude running around killing people, unless he’s on the assist here. You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison has our protagonist, well, in prison. hard to kill 1000 people without being caught, i guess. Way kills it on the opening bits of this track – i’ll mention it below but it’s a huge shift in his skill as a vocalist between the last record and this one and i think this song’s one of the good indicators of that growth. I’m Not Okay (I Promise) was one of their big singles, and yknow it holds up to scrutiny after all this time. the instrumental shifts in cool ways between the verses and choruses, and the vocal performance is moving and compelling. big angsty teen vibes and it’s hard not to connect with that a little, even after all these years. The Ghosts of You is a neat dramatic track. i dig it. The Jetset Life is Gonna Kill you is an interesting musical vibe to dive into before the interlude, and again a strangely personal track, even if it can apply to the protagonist. the little bit of modulation on the vocal line in the bridge is an interesting touch. Interlude’s fine. Thank You for the Venom gets a little heavier in instrumentation, especially coming out of the intro, and the vocal performance here steps it up for sure. big fan of this track, prime pop punk shit. i kinda love that Hang ‘Em High is their country-inspired track – it only bleeds through in a few places but it’s still a fun song. It’s Not a Fashion Statement, It’s a Fucking Deathwish is a neat track. not a ton of thoughts but it’s a fun listen. Cemetery Drive starts to close out the narrative, a quiet(er) tragically romantic track. v moving track. I Never Told You What I Do for a Living closes out both the record and the narrative, with the protagonist finding out that he’s the 1000th person he needs to kill.

faves – Helena, I’m Not Okay (I Promise), Thank You for the Venom, Hang ‘Em High

yeah i had a great time with this record. i found the “concept album” angle to be a tad weak, from what i want out of concept albums, but even without that the songs here are personal and thematic, intimate and dramatic. i mentioned above but Way’s vocals struggled a bit on the edges of the last record and especially in some of the slower segments, but there’s HUGE improvements on the record, and the band is doing some phenomenal work instrumentally all around. there’s a few places where there’s a bit more edge than i normally like, but given the time period and the genre i think they’re successfully playing towards the dramatic here and it works quite well. it’s cool to see where emo and pop punk were bleeding together at the time, since most of my experience looking back to this music has been solidly on the pop punk side.

Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge – 7/10

the previous is the first: I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love | next: The Black Parade

all my reviews for My Chemical Romance

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