Alternative Press - "These burnt and frayed punk songs burst forth with purpose and power, bearing the pale scars of some deep psychic wounds."
Personnel: Frank Iero, Evan Nestor (vocals, guitar); Matt Olsson (vocals, drums).
Audio Mixer: Steve Evetts.
Much like the apparatus that gives the album its title, Parachutes is a collection of lifesavers for Frank Iero. Along with his band, the Patience (Alex Grippo, Evan Nestor, and Matt Olsson), Iero powers through his own sonic therapy sessions with searing punk blasts and seething urgency. Hardcore inspirations Black Flag and Minor Threat tear their way through rollicking tracks like "Veins! Veins!! Veins!!!" and "I'm a Mess," which sound like wistful memories from a sweaty suburban basement show. As cathartic release, these frantic tracks provide the best outlet. Iero's time as guitarist in My Chemical Romance and his own projects (Death Spells, Leathermouth, and Frnkiero and the Cellabration) create an energetic combination of experiences, corralling emo drama ("Miss Me" and "The Resurrectionist"), hardcore fury (the aforementioned "Veins!" and "World Destroyer"), and Nirvana-lite grunge ("They Wanted Darkness" and "Viva Indifference"). MCR fans and emo-leaning nostalgists may appreciate the rawness of Iero's expression -- like when he employs his bloody Kurt Cobain howl -- but there's more muscle and power on Parachutes than anything in his former band's catalog. The absolutely ripping "World Destroyer" is a fine example: a crazed and dramatic bruiser, it centers around Iero's frenzied yelps, which recall At the Drive-In by way of Iggy Pop. Upon closer inspection, a lot of it is a downer -- especially the wounded and sometimes desperate lyrics -- but a cautious optimism keeps Parachutes afloat, especially on the Weezer-esque "Remedy," the Hives-on-speed "Dear Percocet, I Don't Think We Should See Each Other Anymore," and the touching ode to his late grandfather "9-6-15." Leaps beyond predecessor Stomachaches, Parachutes benefits from its creator's inner turmoil, providing as much emotional support to Iero as it does to listeners with similar struggles. ~ Neil Z. Yeung