Who Should Buy This: Punk-rock fans, people with an ironic sense of humor, and those who are determined to overcome.
Album: Keep the Coffins Coming
Artist: Frank Iero and the Patience
Genre: alternative, punk, rock
Music Rating: 8/10
Lyrics Rating: 7/10
Sounds Like: PUP, My Chemical Romance, Sorority Noise
Best thing About this Album: I’m not gonna lie: it’s the guitars. All of the music on this EP, but the guitars specifically, have varied textures, appropriate tonal diversity, and are well balanced. Makes the heart happy.
One thing I wish was different: No Fun Club is not really my thing (I don’t really love shorter, transitional tracks), but it is funny and well-executed for what it is.
Website: Frank Iero
Favorites: I’m A Mess, BFF
Parental Guidance: “No Fun Club” is a shorter track with not easily discernible lyrics, but there is plenty of swearing in it.
Frank Iero has undoubtedly accomplished a lot in his musical career, and he’s back for more! This EP is, in many ways, a behind-the-scenes look bridging their acclaimed debut and sophomore albums, Stomachaches and Parachutes, celebrating and highlighting a couple important events that happened to Frank Iero and the Patience during that time.
These four tracks come from a session with Steve Albini – which was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for Frank – and came about after the band finished touring Stomachaches. You may have noticed the deviation in the stylization of the band’s name on the album cover. That (along with the EP’s title) is a cheeky callback to another significant event from that timeframe – an accident in Sydney, Australia that left the band a little roughed up, but wholeheartedly determined to fight through.
So, that’s the expository overview for Keep The Coffins Coming. Now let’s get down to the music!
“Let’s all be difficult and never try too hard. Let’s all be critical of those who show their heart.” — I’m A Mess
First up is my personal favorite track from the EP: I’m A Mess. Sound familiar? This is the first version of one of the breakout singles off their sophomore album. While generally recognizable to existing fans, this track from the session with Steve is in many ways a whole different song! It seems to be less musically shiny and polished, and more grounded – which translates powerfully into the message of the song!
“Best friends forever, but not now” — BFF
Next we have a slightly more open, mellow track in BFF. In a lot of ways, this could be considered the most minimalistic track of the Ep, and with good reason! This is a melancholy, sentimental track features some very important cowriters – Frank’s twin daughters! Adorable.
“I don’t have the strength to act cool.” — No Fun Club
Next up: No Fun Club. This one is a short, humorous rework of an older, cantankerous song called Xmas Sucks, originally posted to SoundCloud as a joke. The whiny, impassioned vocals here are at times moderately unintelligible, but appropriately, intentionally and humorously so. This track in particular, also seems to ride the line between being cheeky satire and earnestly bitter.
“But now you’ve left me to love another. You have shattered all of my dreams.” — You Are My Sunshine
Finally, we come to the closing track: a cover of You Are My Sunshine. I honestly didn’t know that this song could be emo, but that was obviously incredibly naive of me. Never underestimate the power of punk!
This song has been done and redone many times since the early 40’s, oftentimes deviating from its country roots, but I can honestly tell you that you’ve certainly never heard it quite like this. With moody toms, bluesy electric guitar, and a whole lot of heart, this is truly a transformative piece.
Well, that’s the EP. If you loved these songs as much as I did, please consider supporting Frank Iero and the Patience by purchasing the album from their website or on your favorite digital music store (iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon, etc.)
You can also check them out on tour this fall, with Descendents, Thursday, and PUP!