"The Black Parade is Dead!" (Reprise; 2008)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

I think that record companies have figured out that any live CD releases should be accompanied by a DVD as well. It's good marketing and, since we're all visual when it comes to a live performance, it only makes sense. This live CD/DVD combo has two discs: one is the live recording CD of My Chemical Romance at Palacio de los Deportes (Sports Palace Dome) in Mexico City, Mexico. The other disc is a DVD with two different concerts: one at the Palacio de los Deportes and another at Maxwell's in Hoboken, New Jersey. Both concerts were performed in October of 2007 (the 7th and the 24th respectively).

The quality of the CD is really good and my previous review of their disc, "Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge," had me on the fence because I didn't know if I liked them or not. Their live songs have a raw power to them that a studio can't capture primarily due to the setting. The guitar is powerful and you hear it more prevalently. The drums sound great and the vocals are strong. There is crowd noise, singing, chanting, and when a flash pod goes off you can tell. Gerard does a great job of getting the fans into the show. The CD runs 56:15 long.

Since the visual is coupled with the audio you can either listen to it or watch it. Most of the songs you hear on the CD are on the DVD as well. There is some pre-concert stuff and then the band emerges onto the stage. Gerard begins by laying on a hospital gurney. They have black outfits and white faces. I'm starting to lean toward them more because a live performance can either seal or kill the deal. The DVD has good production, it's worth the price.

My Chemical Romance: (Live): Bob Bryar — drums; Frank Lero — rhythm guitar, backing vocals; Ray Toro — lead guitar, backing vocals; Gerard Way — lead vocals; Mikey Way — bass.

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"Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge" (Reprise; 2004)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Emo, here we go. I had heard of My Chemical Romance, or “My Chem,” before and I had probably listened to at least one of their songs but I thought I’d kick off my shoes and see what all the cynical fuss was about. I really don’t have any predisposition to the emo/post-hardcore/punk-pop bands out today. I just know that someone is fractured and I’m going to hear about it. The fact that guitars and drums are present elevates it above an insurance seminar.

After listening to "Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge" a few times I liked what I heard. There is an element of hard rock present and they emit a mood of confrontation but also admit to being brittle. Hard rock was about the music; My Chem has a message that Gen-X can relate to more than me. I’m not against their lyrics, I just grew up in the 80s and the party never ended ... well, until 1999.

At least they have a few styles they can focus on. Some of the songs are hard rockers and a few are just noise to me, but I did like the guitar because it's got a gritty sound and a solo or two can be heard (most notably on “Thank You For The Venom”) and the vocals aren’t that bad either.

I’m sure My Chemical Romance appeals to those who feel manic at least 80% of the time. The band has an attitude of turning the gun on others rather than on themselves and “Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge” is somebody’s testimony.

Emo music rarely writes an intentional pop hit to help the band climb the charts they so despise so I can’t say that one track would pull you closer than any other. The CD does flow like a story though, so starting in the middle could possibly mess up the chronicle.

My Chemical Romance: Mikey, Ray, Frank, Matt and Gerard.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2010 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:59:47 -0400.