As a legion of My Chemical Romance fans prepare to march to the offices of the Daily Mail, Pete Fear looks at why the hell anyone would care. It’s because of the music, man!
My Chemical Romance are the most horrific, potently nasty and unpleasant thing that will ever happen to the Daily Mail: a cranked up rock band that will turn your children into devil worshippers and invite Eastern European asylum seekers into your home.
But forget that, because even the BBC and The Guardian know this. All of the coverage of this Saturday’s Dacre-baiting march has focused on the black hair, the Converse slip-ons, the scars and the straight edge tattoos. No one has mentioned that My Chems are one of the finest rock bands to emerge from the States this decade.
Emerging from the ashes of a Thursday-aping hardcore world (via Eyeball Records’ I Brought You Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love), it was the Lifetime-meets-John Hughes movies sounds of Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge that launched MCR as both a damn great band and a sociological case study.
Three Cheers… is a landmark record, a quick-shot blast of sharp turns of phrase and punk rock guitars. From the faux-Spanish tongues and chuggy Radiohead-isms of ‘The Jetset Life Is Going To Kill You’ to the pop-is-pain mega choruses of ‘I’m Not Okay (I Promise)’, Three Cheers… is Fall Out Boy’s From Under The Cork Tree’s less saccharine sister, positioning them as this generation’s Queen to FOB’s Air Supply.
The songs – and more importantly the album as a whole – make the current consternation of the Lord Rothmere-owned organ and its hatebred middle aged readers irrelevant.
The fact that My Chemical Romance have been derided as much as bands such as Kiss (Knights in Satan’s Service) is down to the fact that Three Cheers…, and The Black Parade, with its pompous Mercury/May-influence, are as full of hope and rock stomp as records like Destroyer (Detroooit Rock City!!)
Gerard Way has become a genuine New Jersey success story; not for any crusade against the newspaper backlash, but for being in a band that blows the bloody doors off, every time.