ALBUM REVIEW: Frank Iero & The Patience – Parachutes
In this latest release by Frank Iero & The Patience, we get an album that is more expansive and in-depth than stomachaches, but, in some ways, not as accessible. Iero’s songwriting here goes from his tentative writings on stomachaches to grandiose and chaotic. If the change of name wasn’t obvious enough, this very sound of the album indicates musical growth.
They Wanted Darkness… is more indie and overtly “experimental” than what we’re used to, but the lyrics resonate with any Frank Iero fan. This balance between the familiar and unfamiliar is what makes the album exciting without being jarring. When listening to Frank Iero, it’s best not to draw comparisons with his former band, but in this case we can’t help but think of My Chemical Romance. Veins! Veins!! Veins!!! is very reminiscent of the Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge era. We can hear and feel that same dark and twisted concept, with screeching vocals and heavy guitars; however it doesn’t feel like Iero is trying to get or reassert some of his My Chem credibility. Quite the opposite. With an album as deeply personal as this one, it isn’t at all necessary.
I’m A Mess – the lead single – is really good fast, bratty punk. It’s so typically Frank Iero and will be amazing live. What’s better to scream than the opening lines “try not to wake me up, ’cause I don’t feel too good/I’m tired of miracles and being so understood”? Nothing, that’s what. We get that same glorious pessimism in I’ll Let You Down (“I have a feeling it gets much worse before it gets worse”). Iero has always been malcontent, but he’s really going for it here and it’s refreshing. The first half of the album reminds us of the kind of anti-punk that AJJ is so well known for.
We’d like to dwell on Miss Me for a little bit too. With a few minutes of this record set aside for something sincere and even country-ish, Iero makes his record versatile. Admittedly, this is a love song with that trademark edge of bitterness and down-on-your-luck sensibility, so in some respects it blends in well with the other songs. Nevertheless, we can’t help but love the emotion in Iero’s voice.
The respite is short lived. The ressurectionist or an existential crisis in C# has an amazing guitar in the intro and a really hooky chorus. The kind that you’d fantasise about shredding to in front of your bedroom mirror. Instrumentally, it’s quite bouncy and has to be our favourite out of the entire release. Viva indifference has that snarky, Say Anything feel. Maybe it’s the particularly nasally vocals that make us feel that way, coupled with the pop guitar. Whatever the case, it makes for interesting listening.
Parachutes is complex and dense, but after you’ve gotten over the grating feedback and complex lyrics that command a lot of attention, it becomes something entirely more accessibly and different. Despite how versatile Iero’s former projects have been musically, he remains a punk rocker at heart.
Standout Track: Miss Me
For Fans Of: Joyce Manor, Say Anything, AJJ
Written By: Kathryn Woods