Review Summary: Although this isn't a great album and it keeps getting held back by its same sounding songs and lack of a decent production, it's still a solid album that longtime fans of the band will wanna hear.
Way back in 2002, before Danger Days, Black Parade, or even Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, MCR released I Brought You My Bullets You Brought Me Your Love, to mixed success. On one hand its a cool, raw, unrefined post hardcore classic but on the other its maybe a little TOO raw and unrefined for my tastes. It certainly starts out pretty cool with the song Romances, likely a little nod to the band's name. Its a very Spanish-y sounding flamenco guitar intro; who knew that the guys could play so well way back then? But unfortunately that is not long lived as it quickly transitions into Honey, This Mirror Isn't Big Enough for the Two of Us. That leads me to my first problem, which is the titles. They use to have the Fall Out Boy syndrome where their titles would always be a thousand words long and make no sense. Hardly a major concern though, the song itself is pretty good. Its got a catchy dissonant riff and some cool vocals.
Vocals are interesting on this album; Gerard's voice hadn't really developed and flourished into what it is today, so the vocals on this album seem very raw. Sometimes they actually work in the songs favor like here and Vampires Will Never Hurt You, and Drowning Lessons, but they seem to get a little more worn as the album goes on. Maybe they recorded it all at once, I don't know. What I do know is that the vocals for the first few songs are great, but you can't really say the same thing about the silly lyrics. If you couldn't guess Vampires Will Never Hurt You is about vampires then just close your browser and go to bed. The lyrics are very silly and Anne Rice esque, and though they aren't technically bad, it just feels really over the top. Having said all that the song itself is very good.
And like so many other albums, after the first few tracks, it kind of starts repeating itself. Drowning Lessons is another great song and has a really cool riff and Our Lady of Sorrows is a weird but sort of cool Sex Pistols-like heavy punk song. But after that the songs start to kind of sound the same with maybe the acception of Early Sunsets over Monroeville, which is a very unusually cheery upbeat song at least musically. The only downside is that it's 5 minutes long and definitely wears out it's welcome before too long. And by the end you're kind of bored and just want to go back and listen to the beginning again, but overall it's definitely not a bad album. I think MCR learned from their mistakes and made a slightly more polished album with Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge before settling on their masterpiece Black Parade. But its definitely an interesting ride to take to go back and see what they used to sound like.