EP Review: Frank Iero and the Future Violents; Heaven is a Place, This is a Place

After surviving almost a year in a pandemic, new Frank Iero and the Future Violents (FIATFV) music is the most extraordinary delicacy the world could solicit in these dark times. Despite only having a total of 4 songs, Heaven is a Place, This is a Place is one of the rawest and real pieces Frank Iero has ever released as far as his solo projects go. The EP channels elements of 90’s grunge guitar and sustains Iero’s punk roots, not disappointing anyone with a lack of consistency in that genre. All of the original songs on the EP pack a punch with their fervent guitar and intense vocals, similar to how you feel while listening to Barriers, FIATFV’s previous release. A special surprise included on the EP is Iero’s cover of R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion.” The stripped-down version of the original song featuring harmonies from FIATV keyboardist and violinist Kayleigh Goldsworthy creates a beautiful contrast in vocals.

In music releases that are shorter in length, it can be a challenge for the artist to convey a clear message through their work. Iero was able to jump that hurdle and take listeners on a journey with each song he carefully wrote. Staying on theme with other releases of his, there are dark and desolate tones to the music, especially displayed in the final song, “Record Ender.” It expresses feelings of desperation and hopelessness while still allowing room for the listener to hold on to hope, and claiming that Iero himself too, holds onto hope. Along with choosing the perfect song to end the EP, the decision to present “Violence” as the opening to the album couldn’t have been more ideal. The track kicks off the album with a fierce tone and keeps the listener wanting more. The EP is perfect for grunge and punk loving adults that lived through it, or modern-day fans that can still appreciate that style of music.

Frank Iero and the Future Violents at Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix, AZ 8/6/2019

Interview and Live Photo by Brynn Edwards