My Chemical Romance
I Brought You Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love
There’s a ton of hype surrounding My Chemical Romance’s forthcoming major label debut for Reprise, due out later this month. Spin declared them an artist to watch for in Fiscal Year ’04. Boy, I bet you can’t wait to hear how bad their recently re-released debut is, can you? See? Already you’re anticipating the pain.
Well, if you think I’m going to bash this record, throw down everything major label and declare anything that has ever aired on MTV to be unholy, you’re going to be disappointed. I Brought You Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love is a surprisingly original, ungodly fun album, and the band deserves the attention they’re about to receive for a record that couldn’t be more radio friendly if it was Blink-182. Although many are quick to label this as just another emotive punk band with horribly clichéd, overdramatic wordplay, they are seriously selling MCR short.
Having been produced by teary-eyed Thursday frontman Geoff Rickley, one might expect MCR’s debut disc for Eyeball — for whom Thursday themselves released “Waiting” before being snatched up by Victory — to be yet another entry in the emocore scene. Although they certainly do borrow from that sound, they’ve managed to twist it around and infuse enough of themselves into it to create their own monster. In fact, it seems clear that while Rickley and company spent their formative years listening to Joy Division, these guys were probably holed up in auto shop head banging to early Misfits records.
Darkly humorous lyrics (mostly using references to the supernatural as metaphoric devices), pseudo-thrash-metal guitar riffs, late night monster movie dark comedy kitsch and intentional theatrics would push the band over the edge into cheese territory if it just wasn’t so goddamn fun. If they’re trying to be serious about their lyrics, they’re seriously bad. After a few listens, you have to figure it’s all tongue in cheek. Boys Night Out and Alkaline Trio fans will be in familiar territory here (in sound as well as lyrical content).
Just listen to “Vampires Will Never Hurt You,” and tell me it’s not fantastic. It’s about vampires, for Christ’s sake! It’s fucking great. “Early Sunsets Over Munroeville,” which seems to be about George Romero’s classic Dawn Of The Dead film, is bizarre, but undeniably fun. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a classic monster movie summarized in such serious, embattled, oddly moving words. Frontman Gerard Way wields a voice that rivals Rickley’s own in terms of desperation, while the band lays it down on the record as if it was their last night (as humans) on earth. Fantastic I say.
Congratulations guys, and I’m looking forward to hearing your Reprise debut. But be warned: the record industry is a larger, uglier and infinitely more powerful monster than anything you’ve encountered so far. We’re pulling for you.