By Dee Lockett
Paramore, now minus the Farro brothers, looks for a career do-over with its upcoming fourth album.
In the interim between Paramore’s Brand New Eyes and its upcoming self-titled fourth studio album out April 9, the band lost both its lead guitarist and drummer over “creative differences” (or something like that) in 2010. And for some time, it looked like the trio couldn’t make it without two of its founding members, the Farro brothers. Sure, the neon-haired Hayley Williams was marketed as the face of the band, but hardcore fans know Josh Farro co-wrote and composed all of the band’s music. And younger brother Zac’s aggressive, yet polished drumming solidified Paramore’s sound.
Following their departure, many speculated Williams would go solo, banking on the success of her collaboration with B.o.B. on “Airplanes.” Not so. Instead, Williams kept busy in 2011 working with remaining members Jeremy Davis and Taylor York and releasing a song here and there, including “Monster” off the Transformers: Dark of the Moon soundtrack.
After a quiet 2012, Paramore is back with its first single in four years, “Now.” It’s the most genuine the band has sounded since its debut All We Know Is Falling. Though only 24, Williams has been in the business for nearly a decade. She knows just how close Paramore came to becoming has-beens, singing with the same forceful confidence that launched her career: “Feels like I’m waking from the dead/ And everyone’s been waitin’ on me.” The song’s lyrics read like an open letter to Paramore loyalists—part apology for the hiatus, and part declaration to get it right this time.
For a band that’s enlisted Ilan Rubin of Angels & Airwaves to fill in on drums and Beck bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen to produce the album, the decision to start over wasn’t exactly optional. Starting over implies you have something to work off of; this is more like starting from scratch. “Now” is so reminiscent of the band’s earlier breakout songs like “Pressure” because, once again, they are back at the beginning as a brand new band. And when you’ve got almost nothing to lose and a point to prove, that fearless tenacity returns like an old friend.
If Paramore does go down, it won’t be without a few fighting words.