Break-ups of successful bands will always spawn the inevitable solo projects and the musicians will be forever compared to their past glories, and when members of a band as sizeable as My Chemical Romance get back out there then all eyes will be glued to them like hawks.
Of course, the issue with the cult following of My Chemical Romance is that all related material will be successful regardless of the output, but hats off to Frank Iero who has produced yet another great record and is well on his way to being so much more than just “that guitarist from My Chemical Romance.”
Now under yet again another new moniker in Frank Iero & The Patience, the New Jersey native has released a collection of punk fuelled post-hardcore tracks, and ‘Parachutes’ installs chorus melodies into your mind throughout the raw and ragged emotion that the lyrics and guitar tone create.
‘Dear Percocet, I Don’t Think We Should See Each Other Any More’ is a brilliant fast-paced explosion that somehow packs so much into 2 minutes that you’ll need to listen to it again, and again to fully appreciate the riff that hits in the bridge. Likewise, ‘I’m A Mess’ sees Iero‘s vocals escape into La Dispute territory, but the tempo ensures that the punk elements stand at the forefront of the appeal.
The success of My Chemical Romance as part of the noughties emo scene and poster boys for the genre clearly has an input to ‘Parachutes’ but apart from sections of gang vocals in songs like ‘They Wanted Darkness’, the festival headliners don’t feature as heavily as perhaps you might expect, and there’s far more input from bands like Brand New on ‘Oceans’, and Finch on ‘The Resurrectionist, Or an Existential Crisis in C#’.
Iero‘s contemporary outlook ensures that the record keeps in touch with bands like Touché Amoré instead of relying on the past to fuel the future. It succeeds in being great when it’s heavy and when it’s vulnerable and soft. The crunching screams at the end of ‘World Destroyer’ introduce you to the album as a quick spoiler into how it flows, but ‘Miss Me’ shows off how a rough around the edges acoustic number can slot into the middle of an album like ‘Parachutes’ without anybody batting an eyelid.
Ignore the legacy and stigma that comes with a project like this, Frank Iero & The Patience have a great album here, and it’s worthy of so much more than it could ever realistically and objectively get credit for.
Written by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)