Music Reviews

EP REVIEW: Frank Iero And The Future Violence – Heaven Is A Place, This Is A Place

Frank Iero and The Future Violence (AKA Frank Iero and The Future Violents) have released their new EP Heaven Is A Place, This Is A Place. Embracing a different name for each stage of his musical journey, the latest effort is a follow-up to 2019 album Barriers with The Future Violents, which featured the same line-up. Bringing lashings of fiery emo punk energy on this latest effort, Iero doesn’t stray far from his usual, signature formula on this EP, and why should he when it works a treat?

Divided into two distinct sides, the release begins with the heavier of the two as Violence kicks off the release. Swirling guitar lines are accompanied by blues-tinged vocals from Iero, as this track sings of unreciprocated love, but when you know they’ll be the ones worse off without you as you walk away head held high and powerful. Iero’s gritty lyric style is highlighted to full extent from the onset with this raw, scathing attack, in lines such as “Your violence feels like kisses to me, your silence makes it harder to breathe,” which become engrained within your mind. Upping the power, violence and aggression as the track progresses, it’s chaotic by the time you reach the end of the track, but the good chaotic that you need a bit of in your life every once in a while. 

Maintaining the energy, recent single Sewer Wolf oozes in grunge vibes, with raspy vocals and rough screams scattered throughout. We become engulfed within the track’s power, analysing the composition of it; the replacement of ‘breath’ for his own sultry breath, the venomous spit of the lyrics and the razor-sharp transitions between verse and chorus. It’s untamed, intense and pretty much what we’d expect a sewer wolf to be like in musical form, because you never know what’s going to come next with its unpredictable moves.

Taking us over to the other, calmer side of the release is a cover of R.E.M’s Losing My Religion. We’ll be honest, on a short EP we’d have preferred another original track, but given the beauty of this cover we’ll let it slide. Kayleigh Goldsworthy and Iero’s delicate, harmonious vocals work flawlessly to express the difficulty of trying to be open and honest about your feelings, but harbouring the fear of what might happen if you do. The track never tries to become complicated, it doesn’t need to be fancy either, but the added punch of soft drums is the addition to keep you coming back time and time again. From our initial doubts regarding the inclusion of this track, it goes on to steal the show, especially with the barely noticeable but important addition of Evan Nestor’s backing vocals. You can’t help but singalong and drift off to a new world when listening to this.

The second part of this EP really did take us down a whole different path, with the factually titled Record Ender rounding off the release. A melancholy atmosphere is created, even before the explosion of drum and guitar lines and the introduction of Iero’s desperate and poetic vocals. The song paints a picture of someone experiencing struggles, but with a desire to hide that to protect those around them: “My sky’s been falling, I hope you never knew. I promise I will try to hide if it’s the last thing I ever do”. This punk-rock ballad is angsty in all the right places, with a delightfully heavy undertone of emotive power to cushion the blow. The effortlessly powerful closing line, “Call out my name because I swear you mean the whole world to me”, just helps to reiterate why this will be a standout moment of a Frank Iero and The Future Violence live set, once we finally have the pleasure of being back there side-by-side with those most important to us.

There really is a great divide between the first two and last two tracks on this release and we find ourselves unexpectedly swaying towards preferring the latter half of the release. Great things really do come in small packages and if you were a fan of his material with The Cellabration or The Patience, the odds are you’re going to enjoy what Iero has created with The Future Violence. Heaven Is A Place, This Is A Place offers the singalongs, sincerity and standout moments needed to make a good release; coming in at just under twenty minutes we’d definitely recommend you check it out.

8/10

Standout Track: Record Ender

For Fans Of: Creeper, Joyce Manor, The Used

Written by: Nicola Craig

Nicola Craig
Head of Live with an unwavering love for pop music, the seaside and writing about other people rather than myself.