HOT PRESS ALBUM REVIEW: PARAMORE

2 05 2013

Here’s a reprint of my review of the new Paramore LP that ran in Hot Press a few issues ago.

PARAMORE

Paramore (Atlantic Records)

8/10

Key Track: ‘Anklebiters’

EX POP PUNKS DELIVER DEFIANT “F YOU” TO THE DOUBTERS

On December 18, 2010, pop punk quintet Paramore were dealt a crippling blow when they were at the very peak of their powers. Co-founding members Josh and Zac Farro announced that they were leaving and to make matters worse, declared the band were nothing more than a manufactured front for flame-haired singer Hayley Williams. With the group’s squeaky-clean image already in tatters thanks to a leaked topless Twitpic of Williams and their already wavering punk credibility wilting due to some damning comments from her ex-band-mates (and in the case of Josh, an ex-lover too) it looked like Paramore were fast becoming the Jackass generation’s answer to Fleetwood Mac.

 

Their self-titled fourth record is their response to the last few years of turmoil and it’s a defiant call to arms which sees Hayley, bassist Jeremy Davis and guitarist Taylor York also come of age. A musically diverse, 17 track effort that showcases a band who have left behind their older, arguably simpler sound for a bigger, bolder approach, Paramore is one of the best break-up records you’ll hear all year. Opening with the barbed punk-funk of ‘Fast In My Car,’ the band flirt with reggae and gospel (Rospel?) on ‘Aint It Fun,’ country music on the gorgeous ‘Hate To See Your Heart Break,’ XTC-tinged new wave on ‘Now’ and 50s coffin rock on ‘(One Of Those) Crazy Girls’ and there’s some bitter-sweet ukelele-led interludes threaded through the whole opus too.

 

Lyrically Williams doesn’t pull any punches either and there are plenty of barbs aimed at her detractors along the way. Rather than being a pity party though, lines like “Let ’em spill their guts/Cos one day they’re gonna slip on ’em” (‘Interlude: Moving On’) are laced with positivity and tracks like ‘Still Into You’ and ‘Anklebiters’ are a starry-eyed joy to listen to. Your move Farro brothers…

EDWIN McFEE 

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