With their blend of punk and Gothic rock, My Chemical Romance hit the music scene in the mid-2000’s and made heads roll. Though this isn’t their first album, it is the one that made the band a mainstream success. Their intense, aggressive music backed by melodic vocals makes it easy to see why so many people flocked to the band. This may not be the best album I’ve ever heard, but it’s a pretty solid effort.
The album opens with the punk infused “Helena.” It’s a very energetic, cryptic song that’s easy to get behind due to the catchy chorus and Gerard Way’s crazy vocals. The band lets their punk rock influence shine here with speeding guitars and an intense vibe that makes you go crazy. Due to all the chaotic screaming going on one may not realize the song is actually about Way’s grandmother, which adds a bleak sentimental value to the song. The next track “Give ‘Em Hell Kid” starts out with a speedy, bouncing riff that rings throughout the song. It’s another crazy energetic track that’ll have you going wild. There’s also some melody found here, which makes certain parts of the song easy to sing along to.
Probably the best song on the album is “The Ghost of You.” It’s the slowest track on the record and probably the heaviest in both music and lyrics. The intro riff is really somber and haunting, especially since it sounds hollow like it’s ringing out through an abandoned house. The song itself deals with the fear of loss and death. The music here is really great because it switches between moods of the song. The somber, slow music during the verse represents the sadness of loss, while the distorted intense guitars during the chorus represent the anger felt from said loss. It’s a really heavy song, especially when you picture the war themed video released for the single.
Though the sound for most of the album follows the band’s punk rock influence, there are a couple of songs where they get experimental. “Hang ‘Em High” has weird, Western influenced music at the beginning, which really takes you back and go what the fuck is going on. But then the music goes back to their punk chaos. The song is pretty weird, but it’s kind of cool how they stick with this Western motif, with mention of guns, riding into the sunset, and six shooters. It’s weird, but at least it’s interesting.
They also play around with different sounds on the track “You Know What They Do…” The vibe is kind of vintage Jazz club/ ragtime, which really reminds me of a Panic! at the Disco song although much heavier. Of course not wanting to stray too far from their established sound, they return to their punk distortion. The song itself is all over the place with lots of screaming and noise playing even during the singing, but it’s pretty good nonetheless.
My Chemical Romance’s music is an interesting mix of punk and conventional rock, with some metal thrown in every now and again. This means the music is usually intense and heavy as hell. But it manages to be super fast when it wants to be. The perfect example of this is found on “I’m Not Okay.” It has a really fast riff that features a lot of distortion, but it has a more conventional rock n roll feel when it comes to the guitar solo. It’s an interesting mix that gives the band it’s own chaotic, unique sound. They also manage to blend in Gothic elements in regard to their lyrics. The imagery in their songs is dark with references to blood, death, cemeteries, and violence. This cryptic imagery also influenced the band’s look at least for this release.
The vocals are also pretty cool on the album. A lot of times Way sounds unstable and on the edge, like he’s going to lose it at any moment. I particularly like his singing on the closing track “I Never Told You What I Do for a Living.” It’s unchained and playful at times. Maybe they’re so attractive because he doesn’t scream all the time. Granted, he does do it a lot, but it doesn’t take over the entire song to make it aggravating. I also feel that his vocals are not threatening. Yeah, they can be intense, but they’re also melodic enough where you can sing along with him. This mixture of heavy music and catchy vocals makes the band attractive to anyone who doesn’t want to get into super hardcore music.
Overall, the album gets 7.5/10. The songs are pretty good, with some fading into the background while others grab all the attention. Thanks to the band’s unique blend of punk and conventional rock, the music is heavy and intense. Anyone who wants lots of distortion to mosh to will love this album. It’s energetic, guaranteed to get you pumped for the day. It’s the type of album that makes you feel like you’re ready to conquer the world. Though My Chemical Romance is not a band I listen to anymore, I can at least that this album is solid and shows that they at least have their own sound.