My Thoughts on the New Five Iron Frenzy Album

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Edit: Five Iron Frenzy themselves have posted updated lyrics with corrections made, click here. Also, I left out info on “So We Sing” which is a catchy song in it’s own right but I didn’t mention because it was the first single released a few months back and I assumed most had heard it. Carry on…. Five Iron Frenzy surprised just about everyone by dropping their brand new, electrifying full length album on Friday. It is a complete, total dumpster fire wreck of an album and filled with nothing but pure feces. Right? Wrong! Speaking of the actual dumpster fire that was 2020 and entering into this new year of 2021, the album couldn’t have come at a more relevant time. It speaks to people on so many different levels and offers a glimpse at the overall hope so many of us have despite our differences.

Yes, there are plenty of political statements (“In Through The Out Door”, “Bullfighting For an Empty Ring”, “While Supplies Last”, “Renegades”, “While Supplies Last”, “Tyrannis”, “Wildcat”) to be found with an expression of their collective thoughts and ideas, but it’s not enough to chase away even the grumpiest of conservative voices. After all, the music of FIF has always been hopeful and inspirational in nature. To know this band and understand their message all one has to do is the chart the course starting with “Upbeats and Beatdowns” beginning in 1997.

It is thought provoking in ways I didn’t possibly think it would be but it’s also an unrelenting FUN record that most “kids” would enjoy. Five Iron Frenzy have released an early 2021 album that will hold significance throughout the remaining months, weeks, and days left in this year. Yes, I personally hold certain views that may conflict with other certain views but it doesn’t matter because we are all one human race in this life and God takes precedence over all that consumes us. Sure, I’m grumpy, old, and I like to tell kids to get off my lawn but I share a common bond with this band that has meant so much to me during my formative years. To be honest they are all older than me so I actually feel young listening to this, haha.

People have their favorite songs but I’m really feeling “Like Something I Missed” and “Homelessly Devoted to You”. “Renegades” sounds good. “Bull Fighting for an Empty Ring” is classic Five Iron Frenzy mixed with some great sounding reggae-ska. “Auld Lanxiety” is great. The closer “Huerfano” has a punk rock feel but with an urgent message of hope, of rising up to those that beat you down and standing up for the beauty within. The rest of the songs are amazing too.

In fact, the sonic quality of these songs showcase a band at its prime and a producer (producers) who knew what they were doing, letting the band just be themselves. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to record 8 musicians in a studio and get a album like this to resonate with the fans like it has. Speaking of “sound”, their style has shifted on this album and I truly believe this effort incorporates every single element from the past while mixing it up with a very current sound, taking them in an even broader direction. I think of it as reggae-dub-ska-rock if that make sense. A friend dropped a comparison to The Black Keys and Ska but I’m certainly glad it wasn’t that (sorry Black Keys fans).

So as we mourn whatever you call 2020 and the turmoil we’ve all been experiencing as people, living through this pandemic and watching the world explode. Just sit back in solace and fold yourself into the sounds of “Until This Shakes Apart” with a good pair of headphones, an open mind, and plenty of heart warming tenderness. Thank you Five Iron for over 25 years of life altering and thought provoking music that most bands only wish to have written. Diversity indeed. – Brandon J / IVM

Album Lyrics Here at the band’s official website

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January 18, 2021 11:31 pm

Used to be a huge FIF fan, and still love and own their old albums. I was even part of a FIF fan club at my Bible College with a group of fellow fans. But honestly I don’t think I’ll be listening to any further albums. I liked their last album, but their video for Zen and the Art of Xenophobia with a mock JFK assassination really left a bad taste in my mouth and feel that was both unnecessary and in poor taste. I wish them well, and don’t disparage anyone for not feeling the same way or think… Read more »

February 5, 2021 8:27 am
Reply to  thenorthseas

Sad to say Im aligned here. I have been a big fan and I was looking forward to the album but it was a disappointment. They are going in a new direction and I dont wanna go along for the ride. Ive grown too I suppose. Now my bumper sticker “I used to like Five Iron Frenzy” is kinda true rather than funny. Makes me sad.

January 19, 2021 7:17 am

I think I agree with everything you said, minus the “unrelenting fun” comment. This entire album is the opposite of fun. Reese is clearly angry and that shows through with every single song. I did not get any “hope still flies” vibes from any of these tracks. It’s actually my biggest complaint with it. I was hoping for a little silliness from the band that brought us a pants opera ep, and songs about dancing unicorns, Abraham Lincoln’s beard, and kitty doggies. Don’t get me wrong, I get why they did it, but that does not change the fact I… Read more »

January 21, 2021 12:43 am

Brandon- Much respect, and I appreciate the time you took to reply to my post. To be honest, I tried to delete the post after making it, because I’m not out to spoil anyone’s enjoyment of the album, as that’s not my heart or my personality. I don’t wish any ill of FIF, and I too hope they keep writing and making music. I want my music to challenge me and FIF used to do that. Heck, I look at Emery. I had issues with their album cover for Eve (which I felt was controversial for the sake of controversy),… Read more »

Agua Viva
March 8, 2021 3:49 pm
Reply to  thenorthseas

I agree with you. I have supported FIF since 1996. I cried at their last concerts in SoCal in 2003 and was overjoyed to have the band sign my stuff in the late 90´s & early 2000s.However, the content of the lyrics reveals the decided ideological direction of the band, not to mention what kind of messages are important to them now. I´m sincerely grieved by the woke direction that FIF has chosen to follow.

August 22, 2022 8:51 am

People who claim to hate FIF only now because they don’t align with their conservative values really haven’t been paying attention to anything…they clearly don’t understand the punk rock umbrella’s ideals they fall under, they also haven’t paid any attention to FIF’s anti-corporate, anti organized religion messaging. They’re Christian progressives, which there frankly used to be a lot more of in this country before all Christians decided to be fundamentalists who subscribe to the usual conservative media echo chambers. Also, over the last 20 years have none of you actually grown as individuals, or are you still the same stodgy… Read more »

January 19, 2021 6:11 am

It’s so good! Full of fire and conviction. And reggae-dub-ska-rock pretty much perfectly encapsulates the sound, with the attitude throughout almost strictly being punk.

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