DUST OFF THE VINYL: “Three Cheers” for a classic album



My Chemical Romance was on the upswing, their first album “I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love,” released in 2002, was massively successful for an obscure band, but they needed to go bigger. “Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge” is one of My Chemical Romance’s best albums, while it is often overshadowed by its theatrical and famous older brother, The Black Parade, “Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge” is a loud and passionate album in its own right.

The album starts with the somber “Helena,” a song written by the brothers Gerard Way and Mikey Way. The track was written after their grandmother passed away. While “Helena” is possibly the most known track from this record, it is not the only great one.

Now the track that kicks off the story of the album, “Give ‘Em Hell, Kid” is an intense song with a passionate vocal performance and a prominent distorted bassline.

The story of the album, conjured up entirely through the vocals, is not made very clear in the album proper, but for a basic explanation the album is about two lovers who died in a fight, one goes to heaven and one goes to hell. The devil offers the lover in hell the opportunity to kill a thousand evil men on earth to see his other again, the album chronicles his story. While this isn’t needed to enjoy the album, knowing the story can add another layer of enjoyment to this near-perfect record.

To The End almost reads like a poem, while the high-pitched guitar parts run, vocalist Gerard Way is performing a masterful piece of writing with all of his heart, it is a phenomenal example track for showing anyone what the band has to offer tone-wise.

“You Know What They Do to Guys Like Us In Prison” is an immaculate piece of work, discussing the insecurities of being lgbtq+ in the early 2000s, the instrumental is amazing, and lead guitarist, Ray Toro has an amazing solo section later in the song.

Now for the most iconic, and somehow most hated track on this album “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” is an intentionally catchy and fun song with a formulaic structure, this isn’t a bad thing however, in context with the other tracks on the album it allows an emotional break for the gut punch that is “The Ghost of You.”

“The Ghost of You ” is the most emotional song on the album, it’s about losing someone in a war. The instrumental complements this perfectly, with soft sections allowing for an explosive ending. It is important to note the sheer quality of Gerard Way’s lyrics here, they are phenomenal and emotionally resonant.

The next track, “The Jetset Life Is Gonna Kill You” is essentially a song telling their listeners “hey, don’t do drugs” while also being one of the coolest listening experiences on the album. The breakdown in this song is fascinating due to the use of autotune to intentionally make a vocal passage sound robotic.

The interlude is next, a small track very inspired by Radiohead, it’s fun but only a minute long.

The next track bursts through your speakers after the quiet interlude “Thank You For The Venom” is an extremely intense track where the guitars do most of the work, with an intricate and fast riff at the beginning of the song into the chorus which raises the key. It is an incredibly fascinating track on a formula level while being an energizing song to listen to.

“Hang ‘Em High” is an insane track with western motifs talking about revenge, it keeps the energy from “Thank You For The Venom” while expanding on it.

“It’s Not a Fashion Statement, It’s a Deathwish” slows the energy the tiniest bit while bringing in a bit of sentimentality. While the instrumental isn’t incredibly notable, the vocals once again add another level to both the meaning and energy.

With “Cemetery Drive” the album finally slows down to give us another poetic and beautiful track about loss. The consistent drum pattern in the verse stays calm while building up to the loud chorus.

Now for the final track “I Never Told You What I Did For a Living” is a song about our protagonist realizing the horrors of his actions and never being able to enter heaven to see his lover. The multiple sections and immaculate production, making everything so clear, help create a creative and interesting experience. The ending is both emotionally poignant and enjoyable.

“Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge” is both a classic album and a staple of the emo subgenre.