There is something that I cannot understand: why has My Chemical Romance been lumped in with the likes of Thrice, Coheed and Cambria, Hawthorne Heights, and even Taking Back Sunday? Am I missing something here? I can see the Thursday link, due to Geoff Rickly producing “I Brought You My Bullets, You Gave Me Your Love” their debut album on Eyeball Records, but they are worlds and I mean worlds apart in sound from the aforementioned bands. So how does the band try to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack and still not alienate their fan base? It appears that moving on to a major label, Reprise Records, was the best thing that could have happened, oh and a small change in sound.
“Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge” is set out to be a concept record of sorts, based on “the story of a man, a woman, and the corpses of a thousand evil men”, according to the layout in the booklet of the record. The opening track “Helena” would have you thinking that MCR have softened up a bit as vocalist Gerard Way sings softly, “Long ago, just like the hearse you die to get in again” before the full band kicks in and lets you know that MCR hasn’t softened up a bit. “Give ‘Em Hell, Kid” starts out with a thumping bass line and feedback before Way screams, “Oh baby here comes the sound!” “To The End’s” verses remind me of a soundtrack to an old horror b movie, then the catchy chorus kicks in and all traces of eerie are no longer found. The Used’s Bert McCracken lends some guest vocals on “You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison” and begins with just piano intro and vocals, and then goes into to full throttle rock n roll that finds Way and McCracken trading off on vocals. “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” has pop rock written all over, and is one of the catchiest and strongest tracks on the album, and has a piano break down in the middle before going into the chorus with just vocals and drums, and finds Way going from happy to frantic in just a matter of seconds. “Thanks For The Venom” showcases a more metal side to MCR with the opening riff and guitar solo, and also does a great job at showing off their vocal harmonies too, on the verses. “Cemetery Drive” uses almost a rock-a-billy drumbeat over clean guitar parts on the verses, while “I Never Told You What I Do For A Living” closes out the album in one of the more darker and harder moments, as Way screams, “We all fall down, never again, never again they gave us two shots to the back of the head and we are all dead now.”
This record is not without fault, for instance on “You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison” there is so much going on in the chorus that it can almost be too much to listen to. “The Ghost Of You” sounds like the band pushed too hard to have the token slow song, and really is sub par compared to the rest of the material. Another problem is at times their strengths also bear their weaknesses. There is no shortage of melody on “Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge” and this is what pulls the listener in, but the band teeters the edge of doing almost too much of the same thing on each song, but they manage to pull it off.
The layout looks like a movie poster, and all the artwork is done by Way and is entitled “Demolition Lovers II” which accompanies the whole concept album theme of two lovers who go on murdering evil men. The lyrics are not so fictional that one could not identify with what Way is singing about, and they are universally applicable. If you have written off MCR as another screamo outfit then give “Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge” a listen, you will find that they have truly set themselves a part from the pack with this release.