It's been a rough few weeks for Frank Iero and The Patience. The term "parachutes" means a lot more to them now than ever. Imagine plummeting down to the Earth with nothing but gravity bringing you down at deathly speed. All you have to depend on is a parachute; a piece of cloth that is the line between life and death. The small things are sometime the biggest factors - that's what the band's second album Parachutes is all about.
If you missed the news, the band was recently involved in a automobile crash while on tour in Australia, causing them to cancel the rest of their tour dates of the year to recover from injuries and shock. In response, they released 'Oceans' ahead of the album, as a sort of thank you to their fans. In our review of the song, we highlighted the defeated vocals and the ironically relevant lyrics to their situation. It's a love song as much as it is a song about hope; whether he's talking about a love or an experience, the second chorus exclaims, "You’re still a part of me, the only part I enjoy, and I wish I still had a hold on you like you do, until you’re blue, around my throat." Something's a thrill to him, but can he let go of the high it gives him before it takes him over is the question.
The album's like one big release. It's punk rock textures serve as a means of exhibiting its angry cries. There are big and confident songs that bring out an almost violent atmosphere, like 'Veins! Veins!! Veins!!!' and 'The Ressurectionist, Or An Existential Crisis In C#.' Other's have a reckless abandon to them, fitting the lines of insanity with 'I'm A Mess' as well as just simple fun and lightheartedness in 'Remedy.' You have to love an album that can blend the lines of serious and fun in a seamless manner, and often times is the case with punk; it's a very malleable medium.
The slow burners on the record provide more introspection than the heavier songs. The folky, lo-fi recording of 'Miss Me' is a sweet and raw track, its country vibe making Frank Iero sound like he's singing in a Tennessee field. It's a lighthearted track, but it does have a sweet meaning to it. Closing track '9-6-15' builds up from a very calm, introspective recollection to an angry fire that burns until the album cuts it off. It's a song for Iero's grandfather - his namesake who died on the day the song's title lists. The song is full of beautiful, honest lyrics. It has a larger context of someone you loved or who changed your life leaving your life for good: lyrics such as "The days to come, and if i could ever put the past in it’s place / I think about it all the time / You made me feel like, I was more than enough" and "I curse the heavens that took you away / I think about it all the time / I couldn’t miss you any more than I do right now" really set the tone of the track. The song's more directly set to his grandfather, though, as the album ends in a sort of memorialization: "The greatest man that ever lived, he died September 6th / But the love in my heart and the fire in my soul are a testament that he never truly left."
Parachutes is an album about loss, but it's also an album about finding hope. Songs find themselves living in both pain and in love, the two extremes sometimes meeting in the middle. Frank Iero and The Patience have been through a lot, but their album has made their struggle all worth it. We wish them a speedy recovery, and hopefully they'll soon be delivering these songs to you live and full of the same emotions they have on the record; maybe even more.
Favorite Tracks: 9-6-15, Veins! Veins!! Veins!!!, World Destroyer
Least Favorite Track: I'll Let You Down
Rating: 80 / 100