My Chemical Romance 

With Story of the Year, Anberlin, and Lostprophets. Friday, October 22, at the Agora Theatre.

As a movement, emo is notably easy to ridicule. After all, its practitioners tend to be self-conscious, self-pitying, self-loathing, and self-obsessed -- a collection of traits even Narcissus would have a tough time topping. Fortunately, My Chemical Romance's major-label bow, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, avoids emo's worst pitfalls (most of the time, anyhow) and exhibits a fondness for cheese that's rare in this genre.

Lead singer Gerald Way cultivates a film-noir sensibility, loading the lyrics to ditties such as "Thank You for the Venom" with entertainingly overwrought crime imagery that's a lot more enjoyable than the usual what-will-I-do-without-her whining. Musically, the disc imbues its pop leanings with dollops of impudent bravado, like the notably wanky guitar solo that intersects "You Know What They Do to Guys Like Us in Prison." Such moments help balance the likes of "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)," which is nakedly sincere in an irritating way. Three Cheers may be a bit too generous, but not by much. How about two and a half?

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Michael Roberts


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Classical Café Series @ Cleveland Museum of Art

    • Tue., March 20 and Tue., March 27
  • Jon Huck @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Wed., March 21
  • Romantic Rachmaninoff @ Severance Hall

    • Thu., March 22