Top positive review
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No 'difficult' second album problems here...
on 14 July 2004
B00025ETIW - Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge - My Chemical Romance
Geoff Rickly, frontman of Thursday, mixed My Chemical Romance's debut LP, and without wanting to sound overtly cynical, their almost instant recognition was perhaps attributable to Rickly. Nevertheless 'I Bought you my Bullets...' was a fine album in its own right: raw, angry and energetic.
Thursday's last release, 'War All the Time', exhibited many of the flaws endemic to the whole post-hardcore genre, there were certainly some excellent tracks such as 'Steps Ascending', 'Marches and Manoeuvres' and 'Asleep In the Chapel', but on the whole, the album was too-refined: a somewhat diluted version of the masterpiece that was 'Full Collapse'. However with their sophomore effort, My Chemical Romance have managed to avoid the trap that Thursday fell-into: the production on 'Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge' is brilliantly, and quite deliberately crude, the songs still brim with persistent energy and the lyrics are sinister and engaging.
It is to their great credit that My Chemical Romance manage to sound effervescent without sounding 'poppy' enough to alienate hardcore fans. There are as many screams as sing-along choruses, and they even manage some impressive axe-work too on 'Thank You For The Venom'. Sitting on the fence can be a dangerous tactic, but here it works nicely, the more accessible moments mitigate the cathartic riffs, the frenetic tempos and Gerard Way's semi-screaming.
Despite the seemingly mandatory inclusion of a slower song ('The Ghost Of You'), and a short interlude song, (imaginatively titled 'Interlude'), the album maintains a high quality throughout. 'I'm Not Okay (I Promise)' tears along at a crazy pace, which becomes almost metaphoric for the borderline-insane lyrical content. Like Thursday, the lyrics are a non-stop barrage of vivid poetic images (despite Way's protestation "Sister, I'm not much a poet, but a criminal"): 'Cemetery Drive' is at once morbid and compelling, 'You Know What They Do to Guys Like Us in Prison' conjures dark sketches of crime scenes and album opener 'Helena' is a tear-stained obituary. It's all very stylised and, for want of a better word, rather arty. But brushing aside album sleeves and words, My Chemical Romance have produced a blistering post-hardcore record.
'Three Cheers...' breathes life into what is rapidly becoming a tiresome and bromidic genre. My Chemical Romance's coarseness and dynamism will help to ensure they are not labelled as pretenders to the Emo throne, and at least on a vocal level they sound more like a good old fashioned hardcore-punk band rather than would-be bandwagoneers. Any fears of a bigger label pacifying their sound have clearly been allayed, and we can only hope that their future output is of comparable quality.