Welcome to the first installment of the My Chemical Retrospective, where I go back and visit all of My Chemical Romance’s albums before the release of their greatest hits collection May Death Never Stop You on March 25. I’m sure it will be an emotional roller coaster ride of nostalgia and feels.
Well, the other ones at least, because this one was mostly laughing at 15-year-old self. Mostly for Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, because even when i was 14, I knew I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love was a shitty album. It is SO bad. Like, I thought it was because I have a hard time listening to first albums of a lot of punk-y bands I like, but it’s just rough. Gerard hadn’t figured out his voice yet or how exactly his lyrics worked, but I can forgive that for a first album. I just can’t believe people think this album is their best ever. Must be the kind of people who don’t think A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out by Panic! at the Disco is a mess.
‘Headfirst For Halos’ is a really awesome song though. It’s proto-Black Parade. If you really want a good and rough album from Eyeball Records from around the same time that features Gerard Way screaming, find Who Will Survive And What Will Be Left of Them by Murder By Death.
Re-listening to Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, despite being leagues away from Bullets, kind of proved why it doesn’t have as much value to me now as American Idiot by Green Day or From Under The Cork Tree by Fall Out Boy: It’s kind of ridiculously silly.
Now before the MCRmy comes after me with pitchforks, I’m going to have a lot more nice to say about The Black Parade and Danger Days. Just hear me out.
I could tell that on Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge that the band really started to find themselves as this theatrical presentation of doom and gloom. When I was 15, I could really get into that. I was a suburban wannabe goth kid who didn’t fit in at school for multiple reasons. Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge was one of my outlets, whether it be screaming “I’M NOT OKAY” or imagining I was in a western gunfight during ‘Hang ‘Em High.’
Well, I still do that last one.
However, I didn’t grow into these lyrics the way I have into the other albums. As I got older, I started understanding the disenfranchisement of American Idiot and the sexual frustration and broken hearts mixed with depression of From Under The Cork Tree better. At 23, I don’t understand what Gerard was going for any better. I can only look at it through the scope of when I was that age, listening to music by myself at lunch.
Maybe as a comic book, the elaborate revenge fantasy would come across better. As an album though, it just makes me laugh now more than anything. Sorry, Gerard. I know that wasn’t your intent, but it certainly empowered me back then.
I still love ‘Helena,’ ‘Ghost of You,’ ‘Hang ‘Em High’ and ‘Cemetery Drive’ though. And ‘I’m Not Okay.’ I can never hate that song, no matter how silly it is the older I get.