Every time a new Frank Iero record is released, it is as valid to evaluate the band itself as the release itself. After all, it appears unlikely the act will live beyond its album cycle. Iero’s 2014 solo debut, ‘Stomachaches’, was by frnkiero andthe cellabration. The former My Chemical Romance guitarist followed that up with ‘Parachutes’ two years later, but that was the work of Frank Iero and the Patience.
Now, ‘Barriers’ comes courtesy of Frank Iero and the Future Violents – Evan Nestor, Matt Armstrong, Kayleigh Goldsworthy and Thursday drummer Tucker Rule. How much of a future this outfit has remains to be seen, but on ‘Barriers’, violent it is.
Violent in ripping up and starting again, with yet another distinct brand of punk produced by Iero. ‘Fever Dream’ is uneasily chaotic, and owes more than a bit to Nirvana and Pixies, two bands ‘Barriers’ producer Steve Albini has worked with. The song’s dynamic impact and the frontman’s fractured delivery making for one of the best, most challenging things he has created.
Violent in tearing through utter joyrides like ‘Moto Pop’, which could be Jet’s ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl?‘ on drugs. It sounds exactly like you would imagine Iero having now assembled his purported dream line-up. It’s a supercharged shot of unbridled punk adrenaline.
Violent in grabbing demons by the throat and exorcising them through ‘Six Feet Down Under’, the clearest reference to the previous band’s horrific tour-bus crash in Australia in 2016: ‘I don’t wanna die here / I don’t wanna hurt no more’.
And yet unafraid to be not-so-violent on the swaying lullaby of ‘A New Day’s Coming’ or ‘The Unfortunate’’s restrained piano and understated guitars allowing Rule’s rhythms to shine.
Frank Iero continues to keep us guessing, and not just over what his next band will be called. He and his Future Violents here have an adventurous, joyous, gritty and rewarding record that might just be his best yet.
‘Barriers’ by Frank Iero and the Future Violents is out now on UNFD.
Words by Peter Stewart (@PeteStew_)