We might be staring down the barrel of the Commonwealth’s allocated long weekend to celebrate the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, but more importantly, this weekend marks the 15th birthday of one of the most important albums for mid-00s emos; My Chemical Romance‘s Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge.
Yep, it’s officially old enough to slam it’s bedroom door in tears, screaming about how nobody understands them. They grow up so fast.
As one of those moody teens who cut her hair in the bathroom with the kitchen scissors at least once, Three Cheers was this entrance into a world of horror-tinged, theatrical hard rock that brought with it the next wave of what we all came to know as ’emo’.
It was an instant obsession; hearing men sing about macabre things in an emotional way while also wearing heavy-duty eyeliner and thrashing around to heavy riffs was like nothing I’d ever really heard before. I wanted to immerse myself in everything to do with this music that seemed so poetic yet rebellious. My friends and I wanted to dress as Helena for our school formal, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to marry Gerard Way or BE him, ya know?
Listening to Three Cheers and My Chemical Romance opened me up to other bands in the same thrilling, emotional, post-hardcore era; AFI with Sing The Sorrow, The Used with In Love And Death, and Thursday with War All The Time – bands that I’d carry with me throughout a tumultuous teenage life riddled with hormones, family death, and living in a regional, isolated town.
Though the album explores some pretty dark and grim themes, and that the lead singer Gerard Way was battling his own personal demons of addiction and mental health at the height of the bands’ success, it all played spectacularly well into the subculture its fans were immersed in, and created a community of outcasts and weirdos around the band and their emo counterparts.
The fact that I can go back to Three Cheers after many years and still quietly sing along to every song is a testament to just how important that album was to me, and everyone else that got teased about wearing skinny leg jeans in 2004. I see you, and I am here if you need.
I’m gunna say it. Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge is the best My Chemical Romance album.
If it wasn’t for the success of Three Cheers, which resonated strongly with a swathe of teenagers who were coming out of a childhood of relative normalcy in the 90s to adolescence marred with the turbulent and sudden shift toward hatred and apathy after the 9/11 terror attacks, we wouldn’t have the band’s third – and arguably largest and most-successful – album, 2006’s The Black Parade.
Spend your afternoon reliving your glory years of home jobs with packet black hair dye, fingerless gloves, and deep desires to one day make a pilgrimage to Hot Topic and throw on Three Cheers for some sweet My Chemical Romance nostalgia.Image: Getty Images / Scott Gries