Billed as the epilogue to 2019’s ‘Barriers’, Frank Iero and the Future Violents’ new EP, ‘Heaven Is A Place, This Is A Place’, is a tale of two halves. Side A brings with it the ferocious chaos that permeated through the group’s full-length record, while Side B brings a reflective pause and a celebratory atmosphere to this iteration of Iero’s solo projects.
In his time away from My Chemical Romance, Iero’s work in the cellabration, the Patience and the Future Violents has been experimental. The work of each of his groups have stood in their own silos, preserving their distinct style and atmosphere. In the Future Violents, Iero seems to have found an area where he’s comfortable to let that expression flow.
The four-track ‘Heaven Is A Place, This Is A Place’ continues where ‘Barriers’ left off, ripping into the grooving riff of ‘Violence’. It’s visceral, angst-ridden and is Iero at his most damaged. His signature crooning, stifled and almost haunting vocal style is splayed out for all to see as he screams “Your violence feels like kisses to me, your silence makes it harder to breathe”.
Delivering a one-two punch is lead single ‘Sewer Wolf’ which brings the rage boiling to the brim. It caps the opening part of this EP, and kicks off the release valve of anger which spews all over this overwhelming introduction. Side A’s aggression makes way for the demure subtlety of Side B.
Kayleigh Goldsworthy joins Iero for a delicate cover of R.E.M.’s iconic track ‘Losing My Religion’. Stripped back to just mandolin, acoustic guitar and soft percussion, it’s a beautiful rendition of a song that has featured so heavily in Iero’s life since his brush with death in 2016. It sets a light tone to the second part of the EP, juxtaposing the dark opening section.
Closing with ‘Record Ender’, an atmospheric anthemic-like track, it ends the rollercoaster journey ‘Heaven Is A Place, This Is A Place’ on an optimistic note. And it’s yet another demonstration of Iero’s work as a solo artist aging like a fine wine.