The long-awaited first album of Frank Iero’s newest project, frnkiero andthe cellabration – yes it’s actually written like that, lack of spaces and all – has finally been released. Stomachaches is a short, intense, punk rock album that seems to draw influences from every single other project Iero, formally of My Chemical Romance fame, has worked on in the past. That’s not to say it sounds boring or derivative. In fact, the result is the exact opposite in fact.
Despite drawing inspiration from Iero’s former projects, Pencey Prep, Leathermouth, and Death Spells, Stomachaches has a sound that’s unique and entirely its own. As a long time listener, I was worried that the album would be more like a collection of what could have been from his less popular musical ventures. However, it would seem that Iero has refined his technique considerably, as well as found a talented group of musicians that just seem to mesh together perfectly.
Iero’s signature vocals are the epitome of what fans have come to expect from him. Gritty, throaty, slightly emotional, and genuinely pissed off as he quietly laments, “You’re on my mind, and the things that you say hurt me most of the time,” in one of the album’s slower songs, before switching to a jarring wail and declaring, “I never told you what I saw in the dark. I set fire to the person I was.” Iero puts everything into his music and it shows, drawing out your heartbreak in a way that would almost seem cruel if it didn’t sound so damn good.
Overall the album is roughly 38 minutes of harsh vocals dripping with aggravation accompanied by violent guitar riffs and several tracks of quiet lamentation. It’s one of my top picks for 2014.
Top Picks: “She’s the Prettiest Girl at the Party, and She Can Prove It with a Solid Right Hook”, “Joyriding”, “Stitches”, and “Where Do We Belong? Anywhere But Here.”
Album Rating: 4.5/5