After a near-fatal bus accident in 2016, Frank Iero was almost certain that he would never return to music. Despite his difficulties expressing his emotional turmoil following the accident, Iero has created a new band and released their latest album, Barriers. Frank Iero and The Future Violents is composed of Evan Nestor on guitar, Matt Armstrong on bass, Tucker Rule on drums and Kayleigh Goldsworthy, playing the piano, organ and violin. Iero’s previous work has been known for its garage punk vibes, but Barriers is different. This album still incorporates the punk energy from his first two albums, Stomachaches (2014) and Parachutes (2016), while debuting so much more from the musician.
Frank Iero’s music can best be described as messy, but beautiful, and discusses the inner demons we all face and how we may overcome them someday, or maybe not. Iero shares his emotional baggage through untamed punk rock and an intimate look into his pain and joys. Barriers takes the angst of punk rock and assimilates the instruments relative to classic rock bands. Iero’s punk influences like Black Flag or The Ramones are evident in his solo work but the infusion of other sub-genres of rock with punk is what makes Barriers stand out. “Medicine Square Garden” includes a guitar riff not unlike that from Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” and “Motopop” exemplifies the aggression of old school punk with a modern twist. The melancholy, “Six Feet Down Under,” shares Iero’s traumatic near-death experience in Sydney through tormented vocals and emotional lyrics such as, “I don’t wanna hurt no more, I don’t want to die here,” and is representative of the musician’s 70s rock influences. Barriers demonstrates a new musical path for Iero by scaling back on the harsh instrumentation of heavy punk rock, while keeping his aggressive vocal talents.The growth from the equally remarkable Stomachaches and Parachutes to Barriers is natural and welcomed.
Frank Iero and The Future Violents break down the barriers between classic rock and punk and provide us with an album that is well-crafted while still having the abandoned spirit of true punk. The experimentation done with Barriers proves to be just as successful and passionate as Iero’s previous work. Overall, Frank Iero and The Future Violents’ ability to create such a diverse album exemplifies his growth as a solo artist and the promising future he has as an artist.