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Album Review: Frnkiero and the Cellabration – Stomachaches

3 min read

Pencey Prep, My Chemical Romance, Leathermouth and Death Spells; just a handful of acts American multi instrumentalist Frank Iero has been associated with. Over the last year Iero has been hinting at a solo project, which has been confirmed under the name Frnkiero and the Cellabration; his debut album is called Stomachaches. Although My Chemical Romance’s split affected fans alike, it hasn’t phased Frank’s passion for music and it will be interesting to hear what his own vision entails.

Frnkiero and the Cellabration-StomachachesStomachaches is introduced by the short and sweet opener, All I Want Is Nothing, the energy resonating from the track gets you pumped and ready for more; lead single Weighted has this classic fuzziness going on in the verse with a bass line so punchy you feel the impact. Blood Infections begins as what sounds like it may be a weak track, but when that first chorus kicks in it takes off and we are hearing so many vocal and instrumental elements go on, two and a half minutes didn’t seem long enough for it to make a bigger statement. She’s The Prettiest Girl At The Party and She Can is one of those tracks where it doesn’t matter that the vocal isn’t the strongest part, the overall atmosphere of the track makes up for that; Stitches felt like it was all over the place, it wasn’t easy to find a happy medium with the track. Joyriding begins a little half-hearted, the chorus and the bridge were no better as they just came across as noise; the mood is brought down a little with Stage 4 Fear Of Trying, which was more listenable.

Frank shouts a little more in Tragician, which would have been more of a killer track if the vocal line was followable, but in this case the focus was on the instrumentation of the track which was at a notable enthusiastic pace; Neverenders joins the line of short tracks on the album, it demonstrated more of Iero’s acclaimed hardcore vocal. Smoke Rings didn’t really stand out, it didn’t feel any different from the rest of the album and was kind of just there for the ride; Guilttripping was the easiest listen since She’s The Prettiest Girl At The Party and She Can, the more toned down rock is where it’s at with Frank Iero and he should channel this sound a little more. Where Do We Belong? Anywhere But Here brings the album to an end on a more smoother note, yet it still maintains Iero’s signature grittiness that resonates throughout the entirety of Stomachaches.

Frank Iero has come a long way since the good old days he spent playing for various local Jersey bands and his international recognition as My Chemical Romance’s rhythm guitarist, but there’s something about Stomachaches that isn’t quite there. Sure, Frank has his own style going for him and you’ve got to admire the guy for his guts and his passion to put him and his solo stuff out there, but there were times when the album seemed a little messy hard to listen to (particularly during tracks like StitchesTragician and Smoke Rings). Iero has been known for his involvement in heavier genres of music, particularly post-harcore, so it is understandable that his own style would fall somewhere in between that and punk/ garage rock; but the most enjoyable songs on the record were his more toned down numbers, like She’s The Prettiest Girl At The Party and She Can and GuilttrippingWeighted was also a highlight. Stomachaches began as what would sound like a strong solo debut from a talent like Frank Iero, but it could have been so much more.