Parachutes, the long-awaited second album from former My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero, does not disappoint. His debut album, 2014’s Stomachaches, was brilliantly unsure-of-itself, finding beauty in its imperfections and in the insecurities and anxieties of the reluctant front man. The follow-up, Parachutes, which was produced by the legendary team that is Ross Robinson & Steve Evetts in California earlier this year, unleashes a brand new confident sound (not to mention a new band name) but thankfully doesn’t lose any of the raw emotion (or members) that we loved on the previous record.
This time Iero’s vocals are front and centre, rather than shying away underneath layers of rugged distortion. In addition, band members Matt Olsen, Alexander Grippo, and Evan Nestor have become part of the writing and recording process, providing their ever solid back up and support. This record knows who and what it is and makes no apologies for it.
Frank has always had a natural ability to deeply embed his very heart and soul into every project, every performance, and every song he’s ever been involved with, and Parachutes is no exception. Each song explores and dissects an element of Frank’s life unreservedly; opening himself up and exposing his vulnerabilities, all for the sake of his art and for our listening pleasure, in fact, it’s likely something he couldn’t live without.
‘World Destroyer’ opens the record and launches us head first into the upcoming twelve songs of controlled chaos which shows FRANK IERO and the PATIENCE at their absolute best. Frank’s now familiar screams of frantic passion and deep anguish can make an initial listening of the lyrics difficult to understand, but his feelings are carried through so clearly that it almost becomes irrelevant; every slurred word still moves you and is capable of packing a poignant punch.
The frustration felt in ‘Dear Percocet, I Don’t Think We Should See Each Other Anymore’ as he tackles reliance on painkillers, mixed with the brutal self-deprecating honesty of ‘I’m a Mess’ topped with the pain and sorrow of recent loss of his beloved grandfather in the record’s closing ballad ‘9-6-15’ are virtually tangible. These are tracks that are sure to leave you feeling emotionally bruised and battered, yet unnervingly satisfied and wanting more. In much the same way as his former band reinvented themselves with each record, Frank Iero is sure to continue to create exquisitely tortured catchy punk rock in many different forms for years to come.
Parachutes is out now via Hassle Records.