The album's concept is based around the lives of the "Fabulous Killjoys", in the setting of California in the year 2019. The band's alter-egos are the four Killjoys: "Party Poison" (Gerard Way), "Jet-Star" (Ray Toro), "Fun Ghoul" (Frank Iero), and "Kobra Kid" (Mikey Way), shown in the videos for "Na Na Na" and "SING". The Killjoys are a group of outlaws who are fighting against the evil corporation Better Living Industries (BL/ind.) and its leader Korse (Grant Morrison). The character aliases are the names of their "designer" guns. Their guide is the pirate radio DJ named Dr. Death Defying who is voiced by Steve Montano (also known by the stage name "Steve, Righ?" when performing with Mindless Self Indulgence]).
The two music videos show a girl named Grace who does covers on YouTube. Na Na Na shows the Killjoys' daily lives until Korse defeats them and captures Grace, andSING shows Killjoy's rescue mission to get her back; however, this mission sees the gang wiped out in the process, though Grace is taken in by Dr. Death Defying and their other allies.
A website for Better Living Industries was launched in November 2010, featuring a mission statement, a report from the Zones and a merchandise store.
Gerard Way has said the inspiration for the song was a Trans-Am car he'd seen years ago and the visual idea of it driving fast through a desert: this car is the one used in the music videos. Way has also stated "there is no story" in the album itself, with Dr. Death Defying's interludes "painting a picture of this world" and he feels the songs are quite "direct". In the album, Dr. Death Defying gives a report on the deaths of Jet-Star and the Kobra Kid, and at the end he informs us "the lights are out and the party's over", and as a result he's going to have to "start running" now and his show goes off the air. This is then followed by "The Star-Spangled Banner" playing, ending with a very loud burst of static.
The lyrics of most songs flag up that the Killjoys are outgunned and doomed, but are taking action despite that ("Save Yourself, I'll Hold Them Back" has the lyrics "who gives a damn if we lose this war", and "I'll tell you all how the story ends, where the good guys die and the bad guys win"); focus is repeatedly placed on standing up and standing together, as well as simply having fun. Several songs also refer to "the lights" going out, implied to be some major, devastating event (Dr. Death Defying calls back to this in his last broadcast).
The final track, "Vampire Money", has a bastardised version of the band singing an ode to selling out ("play the game and take the band real far"). This was a reaction to the band being asked to do a song for the film New Moon, part of the Twilight franchise. Gerard Way said that the reason the song was on the album was because "there’s a lot of people chasing that ******* money. ‘Twilight?’ A lot of people around us were like, ‘please, for the love of God, do this ******* movie.’ But we’d moved on."
1. "Look Alive, Sunshine"
2. "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)"
3. "Bulletproof Heart"
5. "Planetary (GO!)"
6. "The Only Hope For Me is You"
7. "Jet-Star and the Kobra Kid/Traffic Report"
8. "Party Poison"
9. "Save Yourself, I'll Hold Them Back"
13. "The Kids From Yesterday"
14. "Goodnite, Dr. Death"
15. "Vampire Money"
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