In 2005, a band of young upstarts walked under the pop punk umbrella, gunning for love and spreading their music like wildfire. That band, was Paramore, an act lead by firecracker Hayley Williams. The band were only in their teens at the time, but were splashed across major music magazines, ready to be launched into superstardom.
Debut album All We Know Is Falling kick-started the infatuation from teenagers, the disenchanted, who confided in Paramore’s music. Droves of people began to fall inside this musical bubble, a hub where all were welcomed. It happened swiftly, the meteoric rise of a band that would become a commercial success.
The first record was an appetiser, a grand opening to pop punk domination. From the shuddering Pressure which became a song many related to. Those simple but effective guitar strokes were a great bridge for Williams to lay down her empowering vocals. She showcased a maturity, a foundation for her to build upon. All We Know Is Falling is today a record of teenage angst. Many still listen to it, celebrating its rawness. And it was the start to a colossal journey, a crusade to the top.
Two years later, Paramore released Riot! A record which showcased a surging maturity. It is a record monumental in its delivery, a pop punk tour de force. William’s vocals are raised to a compelling level, she sings with rage, nipping at the undercurrent of emotion. Her range is immaculate, with the instrumentals truly taken up a notch too.
The record solidified Paramore as a commanding, ultimately, massive act. Riot! Held many tracks which many fans fell into, songs such as That’s What You Get and the poignant When it Rains. These tracks cemented Paramore’s grip on the pop punk baton. And Riot! Truly was a revelation, and it signified the acts supremacy.
After the success of Riot! Paramore released Brand New Eyes in 2009. It was a collection of songs which didn’t evoke the same immediate response from fans. Yes, it held its own, and did contain hit singles including Ignorance and Brick By Boring Brick. These songs showcased William’s song-writing prowess, with lyrics that were dark edged and profound. Brand New Eyes seemed to be the record where Williams wrote from an anger ridden perspective. Her mind seemed unhinged too, formulating words which held meaning but were drastic and sombre.
After showcasing the material of Brand New Eyes on tour, Paramore fell off the map somewhat. Anger began to unravel, and spats between band members started to occur. This prompted drummer Josh Farro and guitarist Zack Farro to depart. The Brother’s felt that their days with Paramore were hanging by a thread well before the shocking exit.
Fans were unsurprisingly outspoken on social media outlets, with Williams feeling the brunt. But after they left, Paramore felt rejuvenated and started recording a self-titled opus. This record was released in 2013 and would showcase a more direct and poppy side. Critics were divided as the record ultimately showed a growth, a new direction. Many people were baffled by this progression, as they felt Paramore should have stuck to their pop punk symbolism and sound.
The self-titled record was a success. Songs such as Proof and Daydreaming lit up the charts. The album showed a sense of optimism, which masked the pessimistic tone of Brand New Eyes. Paramore was okay as a trio.
Nowadays, Paramore are a trio with significance. Josh Farro is back as drummer, his feud with Williams has dissipated. With his inclusion, the band recently released After Laughter, a record that has taken on a new direction and style. There is no guitar driven dirtiness, it’s all glitzy and glamourous. With that being said, After Laughter isn’t abysmal. It has a fun-infused element, but they don’t hold back. The album displays infectious vocals from Williams. The lyrical content isn’t original, but there’s snippets of progression.
Paramore are a different band in 2017. The pop energy is infectious, but many people miss the pop punk days. The days of guitar driven sounds and punchy lyricism. But, acts do need to evolve and try different concepts, and with past mistakes now finally put to bed, Paramore seem lively and relevant.