Genre- Curb-Stomping Punk
It feels like 2021 has just started, but there are already new music releases coming in hot. Frank Iero and the Future Violents released their latest punk EP, Heaven is a Place, This is a Place, on Jan. 15.
Frank Iero and the Future Violents features frontman Frank Iero, guitarist for My Chemical Romance, with his purely punk project. This latest band name is the first of Iero’s “Frank Iero and the….” bands to use the same band name on an album and an EP. The rest of Iero’s albums use different band names, previously ending as “frnkiero and the cellabration” and “Frank Iero and the Patience.”
Normally the Iero’s albums keep a consistent style and theme throughout, but this EP is different because Iero breaks it into two different styles. The first two songs, “Violence” and “Sewerwolf,” both carry the old-school punk appeal that you don’t see much with punk music anymore. The songs feature Iero’s whiney, heavy vocals, along with dark instrumentation and a quick pace. The second two songs, “Losing My Religion” and “Record Ender,” feature a different punk aesthetic—think punk meets ballad. The songs are slower, more thought out and filled with raw emotions and instrumentation.
“Violence” starts the album off in the classic Iero way, with an energetic head-banger. This particular song has an almost sea-shanty style to it in its chorus and bridge, flowing chantingly and smoothly. Iero shouts the story of an attachment to someone who doesn’t care for you like you care for them. The chorus rings out, “Your violence feels like kisses to me//Your silence makes it harder to breathe//Your distance feels like I’m not enough//I need your touch.”
The song carries along a heavy, repeated guitar riff on the lower harmonic end of the scale. This is followed by a thumping, continuous bass and drums combination. It’s the perfect attention-grabber to lure the listener in.
The first song is followed by “Sewerwolf” which has a dense vibe similar to “Violence.” The song is truly a curb-stomping anthem. The climatic instrumentals that follow Iero’s screaming are all the motivation needed to get through anything. The instrumentals are comparative to metal music with the eerily haunting riffs that accompany the vocals. It blends punk and metal basics to create an intriguing piece.
This next song completely changes the style of the EP in a way that strangely works. The band covers REM’s “Losing My Religion” in a way that it becomes the love-child of The Misfits and folk-indie music. A light instrumental accompanies Iero and band member Kayleigh Goldsworthy’s soft, punk vocals. Goldsworthy even plays mandolin on the piece, which is truly the stand-out part of the song. It brings the whole song together in an authentic way that’s unlike other basic covers. It’s a perfect companion for the emotional EP.
The last song is called “Record Ender,” and it is indeed an ender. This song just sounds like it’s the ending of a dramatic, end-of-the-world movie. It’s a six-minute song that follows a breakdown, that moment when you’ve hit bottom. Specifically, Iero spills his feelings of loneliness and breakdown with someone he loved and lost. The song ends with the grievous lyrics, “I wanna tell you what I never could//Just call out my name, because I swear you mean the whole world to me.” The entirety of the song style is like a tragic, punk power-ballad. The chord changes and minor riffs help the lyrics and painful vocals to seep in.
The EP is truly an Iero type of creation. It explores heartbreak, loneliness and anger in a reprising way that connects the four songs to each other. Not only does it feature classical punk verses, but it adds in a dash of metal and indie to push the EP to a new level for the band. After this EP, there seems to be a chance that Frank Iero and the Future Violents is sticking around for further albums to continue to build its own story of songs.