Thursday, 8 January 2015

Stomachaches - FrnkIero Andthe Cellabration

First out of the gate with a solo album after the demise of My Chemical Romance, Frank Iero's offering shows a good slice of what he brought to MCR but also enough of how he's going to take things now he's out on his own. It's a difficult sound to pin down as the album lurches between styles, something that the befits a project that started out as someone playing music just for themselves.

It's got a large dollop of the simplicity and direct, clean sound of alternative/punk in there, along with a good amount of thrashing and urgency. But it also has moments of complexity and eclecticism that give it a post-punk / new-wave feel in places, included an understated and subtle use of electronica and EDM sounds. Lyrically it's very personal and powerful, not in the big emo manner of his previous band but in a playful and triumphant manner that just enjoys the sound and feel of the words without worry too much if the listener gets anything more than a sense of meaning and a touch of it's power. He can also sing, rather well, and is great at getting the emotions across without doing an overblown performance. Stand out tracks go to the two singles, "Weighted" and "Joyriding", the sing along fun of Tragician, and the slowmo epic that is Guilttripping. However if you like guitars and a bit of pace then there is bound to be something here for you.

This all combines into something that is joyfully all over the place, playing around with sounds & feelings to produce something that is exciting, experimental but also accessible & immediate. It's the bastard lovechild of Rites of Spring, non-Nevermind era Nirvana, Brand New after a couple of pints, your favorite muso's speed up bar band, and someone just discovering what can be done with some wubs the DJ left over from last night. It's also quite possibly suffering from ADD, as not all the ideas and sounds become as developed in the songs as you could have hoped for. And that gets frustrating, as whilst non of it is in anyway 'bad' it also means little of it is as 'good' as it could have been. Quite where it will end up I have no clue, but it'll be worth keeping an eye out of Frank's next album and for his tour.
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