Celebrating Twenty Years Of My Chemical Romance’s ‘Three Cheers For Candy Revenge’

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Who would ever have thought that the story of a person, a girl and the corpses of a thousand evil males would have such a profound and lasting impact on the world? Actually, My Chemical Romance would most likely be the primary to share such disbelief.

20 years on from the discharge of their second album ‘Three Cheers for Candy Revenge’, this scrappy, savage, sensationally chaotic show of pomp, theatre and bloodshed nonetheless feels prefer it had no proper to grow to be the worldwide sensation that it’s. A devilish mix of post-hardcore vitriol, pop-punk melody and post-punk bleakness, these had been songs made to be performed within the dankest of basements. If carried out by another band, that’s most likely the place they’d have stayed. But, when delivered with the poise, precision and artistic depth that MCR exuded, it could be almost inconceivable for them to haven’t captured the hearts and souls of an entire technology. It takes a sure perspective, a sure upbringing and a sure stage of chaos to bridge that hole between the underground and the stratosphere.

“For me, My Chemical Romance is a very vital band as a result of they had been so completely different to all the things else,” Creeper‘s Will Gould remarked again in 2016. “What they went on to do was make allowances for teenagers who’re outsiders and provides [them] a spot to go. That every one derives from being concerned in punk initially. That message was by no means diluted.”

Regardless of selecting up curiosity from Reprise Data in 2003 off the again of their rampant debut ‘I Introduced You My Bullets, You Introduced Me My Love’, they by no means let the prospect of superstardom get in the way in which of what that they had initially got down to obtain. Reducing their enamel within the bars and golf equipment of New Jersey and touring with metalcore maestros resembling Each Time I Die and Distress Alerts, this was a really completely different world from the place many immediately can have had the privilege of experiencing them.  A chaotic and cutthroat group the place individuality, perseverance and taking care of your personal pays dividends.

So, when it got here to determining precisely what course they needed to be in, the one reply was to do what felt proper. Recording with the imitable Howard Benson at Bay 7 Studios, Valley Village Studios and Sparky Darkish Studios in Calabasas, California – a LONG approach from house – the band dug their heels into the issues that had made them wish to make music as My Chemical Romance within the first place, however with a extra refined gleam. That’s how you find yourself with songs like ‘Give ‘Em Hell, Child’ and ‘Hold ‘Em Excessive’, overflowing with wonderful suggestions and bile-drenched intent. It’s the way you carve out the type of messages that make the nonetheless potent ‘It’s Not a Trend Assertion, It’s a Fucking Deathwish’ and heartbreakingly corrosive ‘Thank You For The Venom’ sentiments to stay and die by. It’s an environment the place the switchblade sass of ‘You Know What They Do to Guys Like Us in Jail’ and the romantic decay of ‘Cemetery Drive’ is allowed to thrive, rot and blossom another time. 

There’s nothing secure about ‘Three Cheers for Candy Revenge’, regardless of the very fact the band had been ready the place the band might have made one thing like that via and thru. Now not only a native sweetheart, now with real strain to succeed on their shoulders, no one would have blamed for dialling down the danger. As a substitute, they conjured a violent maelstrom of darkish alleys, soiled deeds and crimson decadence, coated within the type of darkness that few would have the arrogance to unfurl of their place.

“There are some moments of unbridled viciousness,” Holding Absence’s Lucas Woodland laughs, talking to Rock Sound in 2021. “It simply rips out of the audio system. There aren’t any songs that drop the ball and it additionally looks like a little bit of a threat. I actually respect that as a result of at that time of their profession, they weren’t within the place to be risking shedding anyone.”

Nonetheless, how nicely they hit that steadiness of melody and menace when referred to as upon takes the album from being good to actually nice. Opening the entire affair with a track like ‘Helena’, famously written in tribute to vocalist Gerard and bassist Mikey Approach’s grandmother, and it being as gorgeously mournful as it’s immediately addictive is a masterstroke. ‘The Ghost of You’ slap bang within the centre of the efficiency, slowing issues all the way down to a glacially approachable tempo earlier than delving into the seven levels of grief with vulnerability and vibrancy. And, after all, ‘I’m Not Okay (I Promise)’, the precise nationwide anthem, manages to make confusion and frustration inside heartbreak really feel so readymade for shout-alongs. By harnessing the ability of the mainstream with out shedding any of the emotional depth or gripping storytelling that that they had constructed their foundations on, the band discovered a strategy to be cult-like alongside that potential to be completely huge.

In refusing to water down any ingredient of who they had been, My Chemical Romance confirmed what is feasible when the underdog is given a voice. ‘Three Cheers for Candy Revenge’ might have developed into one of many scene’s most beloved data – a set of songs that many have tried to copy the vitality of and lots of extra have failed –  however at its core, it nonetheless exists for individuals who really feel like they’ve nowhere else to show. A spot the place being a weirdo or a nerd is a place of endearment quite than one thing that ought to be hidden away from the general public. It’s a solace for individuals who have by no means identified the place they slot into society in a medium they most likely didn’t even know existed. 

What MCR taught us in 2004 is that it is best to by no means let anyone let you know what it is best to and shouldn’t be. That all the things that makes you glisten is all the things that you simply want. The world can suppose it is aware of what’s greatest for you, however on the finish of all issues, you’re the just one accountable for the trail you want to take.

Via June 06, 2004 will all the time be a special occasion within the MCR calendar, October 20, 2006, would, for some, eclipse it. Two years on with the world firmly at their ft, the band could be again with ‘The Black Parade’, very a lot the definitive album of their profession and one which put the emo subculture nicely and really on the world stage. Although an enormous second of their journey, the importance of what got here earlier than can’t be overstated. The extent of lavish worldbuilding and mournful soul-searching was solely potential with the groundwork that ‘Three Cheers for Candy Revenge’ laid out. By being 100% themselves within the face of a world that completely wasn’t prepared for them, MCR might chisel out a path that no one else might even try to stroll down, other than themselves, after they subsequent noticed match.

[They’re] not solely a rock band, however a rock band that doesn’t look bizarre,” State Champs‘ Tyler Szalkowski acknowledged to Rock Sound again in 2016. “A rock band that’s comfy with being completely different. It’s inspiring to see them have a lot success from simply being themselves.”

And for such a legacy to as really feel recent, frantic and fabulous twenty years on is nothing wanting monumental. It’ll take one thing really exceptional to ever go one higher, however who is aware of. With no matter My Chemical Romance are cooking proper now, they might even lap themselves. Solely time will inform, however for now, increase your glass and provides three cheers for the sweetest revenge. 

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