Frank Iero and the Future Violents Surprises Listeners with the Somber Yet Melodic 'Barriers'

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By: Tori Price

If Frank Iero has changed his band’s name again, it’s probably a good sign.

Since 2014, former My Chemical Romance rhythm guitarist Frank Iero has been working on a punk solo project (with a changing touring lineup), with the first incarnation being frnkiero andthe cellabration. Under that name he released Stomachaches, a rough-feeling album that confidently contained basement-punk style sounds. After a more refined second album, Parachutes (under Frank Iero and the Patience) we are now here, upon the release of his third solo album, titled Barriers, under the new name Frank Iero and the Future Violents.

With this album, Iero definitely has some new tricks up his sleeve. The opening track, titled “A New Day Coming” definitely isn’t what you would expect from him. His previous opening tracks have a more gritty feel, encompassing the same energy as the rest of the album. However, that isn’t necessarily the case here. It almost has a somber, funeral-like tone, which might not be what his fans expected from him, but it works.

We move on to “Young and Doomed,” the lead single from the album (which features a clever reference to a well-loved MCR song), and “Fever Dream,” both which have that ever so familiar punk feel, with “Fever Dream” bringing heavier guitar riffs and an overall heavier sound in the chorus and breakdown, making this one of the standout tracks.

This album has a clear mix of tones, following suit from his previous releases. Thrown into the heavier punk anthems are tunes like “Ode to Destruction” and “Basement Eyes” that show that softer edge of Iero’s music and his thoughtfully-penned lyrics. For the fans of the heavier sound, tracks like “Moto-Pop” and “Police Police” are sure to get you in the riot spirit.

After “Police Police” the album takes a break from the quicker and edgier guitar riffs into the gloomy-sounding “Great Party,” arguably one of the best songs on the album. While the song still does feature his trademark sound, the inclusion of the softer piano tune with the well written lyrics make this a truly special experience.

The fourteen-song album closes with “24k Lush,” once again encompassing that softer sound we saw at the beginning and throughout the album, tying the whole record together. In an interview with uInterview, Iero noted “If you’re a follower of the things that I’ve done in the past, I think the kind of cool thing is that you can expect to just be surprised and not really expect what’s coming,” and that’s most definitely the case here. Barriers was full of surprises, paying homage to the past but bringing in new styles we haven’t seen from Iero before.

Overall, Barriers is well worth the listen, and it holds true to his previous work while also creating a new style to continue his growth as a solo artist.