You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In PrisonThree Cheers For Sweet Revenge

This will always be my favourite My Chemical Romance song. Track 4. Album 2. 

Starting with an almost Dr Dre or Amy Winehouse jazz piano clink, this is the first moment, if you listen chronologically, that you get to hear My Chemical Romance the cabaret act. Teenagers, Mama, House of Wolves, Vampire Money were all yet to come, but YKWTDTGLUIP set the bar for the swagger, the flamboyance and the camp in My Chemical Romance’s catalogue. My Chem were never a band that promised you real-life confessionals. They’re the Tarantino of the music world: you come for the hyper-reality, the gunfights, the cowboys, the villains and the switchblade heroes. 

Their New Jersey start in life hung them against grim stories of bodies washed up in the Hudson and left them at home in their basements reading comics, playing video games and watching horror films. You leave a Tarantino film or maybe The Joker either repulsed or ready to fight whoever you need to fight, and Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge is the very same set piece.

Any time I kicked my school uniform to the kerb and switched into my baby emo uniform to run to an MCR show, this was the song I was waiting for. The thing you need to know about MCR is that more than being a recording band, more than the delicately executed creative vision, more than the videos and costumes and number 1 singles, they are a live band. The greatest live band I’ve ever seen. Gerard is a Frankenstein mash up of Morrissey and Freddie Mercury on stage, with a little touch of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. I still spend evenings trawling YouTube for live versions of this song, waiting to see how Gerard ad libs the middle 8, in the same way I used to come home and watch Life On The Murder Scene, their touring documentary, on repeat. 

The rest of this album is utterly flawless. The singles, namely Helena and I’m Not Okay are the anthems of a certain corner of my generation, but for me the real magic will always lie in Give Em Hell Kid, You Know What They Do and Thank You For The Venom.

(The Cousin Marnie MCR TAR Takeover Part 6)

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