Hello internet. It’s me, Kenny Rollins. You may remember me as the guy who rambles about superheroes, baseball and douchebags. That is, if you’re one of the ten people who MIGHT read each one of my posts. Otherwise, you likely stumbled here by accident and don’t know shit about me.
Anyways, one thing that you may/should know about me is that I’m a huge music fan. I’ll listen to anything as long as it’s relatively dubstep- and auto-tune– free. However, my preferred genre is punk rock. If ever I get a Wikipedia page (Unlikely) for being the front-man for a successful band (EXTREMELY unlikely), my listed influences will be a veritable compendium of classic 70’s punk, 80’s hardcore, 90’s pop-punk and skate punk, and present day melodic hardcore.
However, since my band will likely be known as an unflinching melodic hardcore quartet that remains hard-rocking while retaining pop sensibilities, there would be one band that may come as a surprise to some. This band is My Chemical Romance, and yes, I am a fan.
Now, understand that when I write the word “confession”, I mean just that. “Something that is confessed.”
I’m not ashamed of being an MCR fan. Rather, I’m apprehensive of why the majority of people don’t care for them. Before beginning my essay though, I’d just like to defend my love for the (now defunct) band.
Now, let me be the first to admit that some of MCR’s music was total shit. Specifically, their debut album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Gave Me Your Love. For the life of me, I cannot understand why people gave this album positive reviews, but skip ahead a couple albums. Have you listened to The Black Parade? It’s pretty fucking good. Sure, it’s overblown and pretentious, but I’m willing to look past that if it includes songs like “Welcome to the Black Parade” and “Famous Last Words.” Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys was almost as overblown and not as good, but c’mon. Listen to “Na Na Na.” That song is catchy as fuck. You can’t not like that song, but more on that later..
Anyways, I’ve narrowed the various reasons people hated MCR down to three. First off, the low quality of some of their music. Secondly, The rabid fangirls associated with pretty much any fanbase. Finally, The ever-damning “emo” label, which has plagued the band since their inception.
To begin, I’m gonna get one of the more obvious ones out of the way: Some of MCR’s music really sucks. Shocking, right? The band that co-headlined the 2005 Warped Tour with Fall Out Boy put out some bad music.
Take their first album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. With the exception of the initial single, “Vampires Will Never Hurt You“, and the initial instrumental guitar piece, there is nothing notable about this album. The rest of the songs range from extremely forgettable (“This is the Best Day Ever” and “Skylines and Turnstiles”) to pretty bloody awful (See: “Drowning Lessons” and “Our Lady Of Sorrows.”). Oh, the critic were fairly positive, calling it “unique” and “convincing“. Convincing, I get. Lead vocalist (And cartoonist) Gerard Way pours his heart and soul out through mostly intense screaming about vampires, drugs and suicide.
But “unique”? Um, maybe. I couldn’t tell because the music really shortchanged me in the “gripping” department. I’m not one to dismiss music as being a mass of mindless screaming…
… But that is really all I got from a good part of the album.
Now, the second album, Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, was an improvement, but the lyrics somewhat deteriorated into, well, average territory. They plummeted into straight up atrocious territory on the awfully titled Top 100 single, “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”. Really. I can’t stress how awful that title is.
The final two studio albums (The Black Parade and Danger Days: The True Lives Of the Fabulous Killjoys) and the Conventional Weapons compilation were all large improvements, but they failed to erase the following two problems, one pf them being…
…Fangirls! (And fanboys, I don’t discriminate)
Now, I’m sure everybody reading this knows of the idiocy of Justin Bieber’s tween fanbase/private, devoted zealot militia, the Beliebers, whose crimes range from being run-of-the-mill dumb preteen girls to insulting people that would rather not get run over by some flash-in-the-pan tween-pop bitch or sending death threats to the girl unfortunate enough to date their idol instead of them. Sure, considering he’s over eighteen, that’s pedophilia, but goddammit, it’s meant to be!
But sometimes, we focus so much on the Beliebers of the world (And the Little Monsters…And Juggalos…) that we forget that decent rock groups have insane fan bases as well. The first that come to mind are the Beatlemaniacs , one of which showed their devotion and love for the band by murdering John Lennon. And you’re dreaming if you think MCR was free of near-insane fans. They’re not so much like Mark David Chapman though. More like somewhat annoying religous fanatics who may be obnoxiously loud, but are easily drowned out.
“MCR saved my life” is a recurring statement on MCR’s comment boards. On one hand, it’s nice that young fans have found a band to call their own . On the other, I humbly call bullshit.
To those that insist that they would have slit their wrists and passed away if MCR hadn’t come along: Have you heard their fucking lyrics?!!!
“The amount of pills I’m taking counteracts the booze I’m drinking.”
“I think I’d love to die alone.”
“I’ll end my days with you in a hail of bullets.”
Also, the entire Black Parade album, which is literally about death by cancer. How exactly is that a life-saving aid and not the guy, looking up at the guy about to jump of a building, yelling “Do it! Do it! Do it!”
Of course, I am in no way endorsing the Daily Mail’s opinion of My Chemical Romance, which is that they inspire an emo suicide cult.
The word “emo” was in the early 21st century what the word “hipster” is today. A broad, catch-all term for a subculture widely despised by the mainstream.
The band themselves have rejected the genre, with Gerard Way having this to say about it:
“Basically, it’s never been accurate to describe us. Emo bands were being booked while we were touring with Christian metal bands because no one would book us on tours. I think emo is fucking garbage, it’s bullshit. I think there’s bands that unfortunately we get lumped in with that are considered emo and by default that starts to make us emo.”
Quite true Gerard, but, again, when you co-headline with Fall Out Boy in the Warped Tour, you can’t be exactly surprised when they start lumping you in with that crowd.
So, to conclude, the main reasons that the only tears that were shed over MCR’s demise were eyeliner stained “MCRmy” tears were some of the lackluster quality of their early music, some annoying fans and the “emo” label.
However, before any angry MCRmy members (What a stupid fucking name) comment angrily, I want to stress that I love this band, and Black Parade ranks among my favourite albums. And I will defend myself against anyone that says I’m not a “real punk” for liking them. So I call for peace.
So can’t we all just pick something to agree on?
Like how much Falling in Reverse sucks ass?
[…] loosely). Personally, My Chemical Romance is my go-to anti-depression method, but I’ve already written about them. So, for this long-awaited edition of Musician Biography, I’ve selected another quasi-emo […]