Frank Iero’s new Keep The Coffins Coming EP is going to prove a treat for his fans. While there’s no brand new, original material on this release, Frank’s sound is presented in a fresh manner so as to draw in those who really want to get into it — or are already long “into it.”
The fact that there is no brand new material on this release is thanks to a convergence of factors. For one, the EP is meant to be a bridge between Frank’s post-MCR band’s two records, and since both of them are already out, it would be hard to create new music that captures the spirit of the time in between the two of them.
Secondly, the EP got produced in somewhat of a personal hurry, with circumstances coming together just right for Frank to have an opportunity to record with someone he’s always wanted to work with, Steve Albini. Frank explained that he ended up abruptly “packing the band” into a U-Haul and driving off to Chicago, where Albini is apparently based.
The EP includes recordings of ‘I’m A Mess,’ which was a single from Parachutes, Frank’s band’s second album, as well as ‘BFF,’ ‘No Fun Club,’ and a cover of ‘You Are My Sunshine.’ The sounds on the EP are crisp and forceful; the drums are solid and resonating, the guitar and bass lines are clear, and Frank’s vocals are presented smoothly as ever.
Thematically, Keep The Coffins Coming is the kind of punk rock angst that Iero expresses so well. On ‘No Fun Club,’ which Frank has played live in the past, he sings, “I just wanna have some peace and quiet, and I just want a place to be alone… I don’t want your fun. I’m not having fun.”
The irony inherent in Frank singing along those lines in a jumpy, frenetic punk rock song helps drive home the next level punk angst. He’s come to the point where the distinctions between having “fun” and not having it no longer visibly matter to him — which could easily in itself be depressing.
Keep The Coffins Coming is musical art at its finest. The work doesn’t end with the lyrics, and it doesn’t end with the music — and at that, it doesn’t even end with the full composition, since the performances, as captured by Albini, are special. Not everyone can pull off EPs without brand new material — but Frank can.