My Chemical Romance Releases Three-disc Set

For many bands today, releasing a live album or remix album is great space filler between their major LP releases. Many times these live or remix albums only serve the purpose of sedating their fan base until the next major release.

“Live on the Murder Scene,” from My Chemical Romance, isn’t your typical space filler. This album comes stuffed to the gills with enough special features to warrant a special-feature DVD release. It’s sort of like a director’s cut for a rock band.

This three-disc set comes with two DVDs and a disc of live cuts from their last release, “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge.”

The first DVD is a video diary, splicing together clips from the road and concert footage.

The second disc comprises footage of the band performing their songs live. It also includes videos, TV appearances and online performances.

The CD of live songs not only includes most of “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge,” but also includes two demo songs and one previously unreleased track.

What’s intriguing is that “Live on the Murder Scene” seems like there was more time and care spent on it than “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge.”

The diary is informative and introspective, introducing each band member and their subsequent role in the group dynamic. It reveals My Chemical Romance as a small-town-in-Jersey band that revels in saving the lives of troubled youths with their music.

The band also seems to have saved the life of its lead singer, Gerard Way. In the diary, Way says that being in the band saved him from alcoholism.

My Chemical Romance is one of the rare bands that can safely straddle many genres and still produce music that is not watered down. Clearly they consider themselves a punk band, but with emo/goth tendencies.

Of the live songs on the CD, “Give ‘Em Hell, Kid” stands out the most, performed at a break-neck speed with reckless abandon. It’s evident that the band works feverishly on their live component, with most of the songs not losing much quality from their studio release. Listening to “Helena” or “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” on this version provides just as much exhilaration and sing-along quality as the originals.

While many bands would sloppily throw together a mish-mash of rough live cuts and unreleased songs, My Chemical Romance goes above and beyond their obligation for what is generally a forgettable segment in any band’s career. Three cheers for “Live on the Murder Scene.”

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.