Paramore: A Decade On

In the small town of Franklin, Tennessee two brothers, guitarist Josh and drummer Zac Farro were keen to start a band but nothing seemed to be clicking for them; that is until 13 year-old Hayley Williams moves into town and begins to write for them. Jeremy Davis, who Williams already knew, soon took the position of bass player and Jason Bynum took on the role of rhythm guitarist. Now that they had their line-up all they needed was a name, and the suggestion of ‘Hidden Corporate Messages’ from an employee at Taco Bell didn’t seem to fit very well. They decided to take the name Paramore, as it was the maiden name of the mother of one of their past bass players. The name also evolved from the French phrase for ‘secret lover’. Although very young at the time, the youngest member being Zac Farro at 12, this band from a small town in the USA set out on a mission to conquer the world – I think it’s safe to say that after 10 years and 4 albums that goal has more or less been accomplished.

Paramore were signed to the niche record label Fueled By Ramen and began writing songs together as a band, the first being the song ‘Conspiracy’ which would feature on their first album. After playing a few shows Jeremy Davis left the band due to personal reasons, and was later replaced by John Hembree. However the band marched on and wrote their début album ‘All We Know Is Falling’ in 2005, whose opening track ‘All We Know’ is actually written about the hole that Davis created when he left the band. The album was a great first record that showed the world what Paramore are made of. The Farro brothers’ raw guitar and hard drum beats gave it that rough rock sound, and Williams’ soft but high vocals brought a feeling of calm about it. ‘Pressure’ was the first single released from the album, which, although did not chart at the time, has since become a fan favourite. Second music video ‘Emergency’ and live video ‘All We Know’ followed; by this time Hunter Lamb had replaced Jason Bynum on rhythm guitar and due to the band’s pleas, Jeremy Davis had returned to play bass in place of John Hembree.

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In the summer of 2006, the band played to thousands of people and promoted their name around America on the Warped Tour; that same year saw them play not only their first headlining shows, but their first headlining sold out shows. The support just carried on coming from then on, although they were still quite an unknown band at this point, it seemed the UK definitely wanted to hear more as they were voted best new band in British magazine Kerrang! and Hayley Williams was also voted #2 in the ‘sexiest female’ category. Hunter Lamb left the band soon after, leaving Williams, Davis and the Farros to continue on as a quartet.

With a début album which had been well received among their fans the band now had to write new material; and that material would need to be leaps and bounds better than All We Know Is Falling. As the band had lost their rhythm guitarist, old friend Taylor York stepped in as a touring guitarist. In mid 2007 Paramore released their second album ‘Riot!’ – this record blasted the band into the mainstream with such singles as ‘Misery Business’, ‘That’s What You Get’ and ‘Crushcrushcrush’. The album represented the growth that the band had gone through since their first album, Williams has said herself that the lyrics for ‘Misery Business’ were more honest than anything she’s ever written before. The raw sound of the band was slightly pulled back for Riot!, replaced in some places by lighter chord progressions, however Josh Farro’s melodic guitar playing was still present throughout.

The year 2008 saw the band take to the big screen, with their tracks ‘Decode’ and ‘I Caught Myself’, being featured on the soundtrack for ‘Twilight’; the first in The Twilight Saga. Decode became one of the group’s most famous tracks, selling over one million copies, and was later featured on their third album as a bonus track on the international release. The band only wrote material for the first film in the series as they did not want to be known as “that Twilight band”.

Heading up to releasing their third album there were many problems in the group; the constant touring had created friction between the members and it had become difficult for them to constantly be around each other. Josh had also raised concerns that the media were more focused around Hayley rather than the entire band. Nonetheless, Paramore’s third album ‘Brand New Eyes’ was released in 2009, and reminded their fans that they still had fire left inside them. Singles like ‘Careful’ and ‘Ignorance’ brought back that rough sound that was present at the beginning of the band’s career, and slow, peaceful ‘The Only Exception’ and ‘Misguided Ghosts’ brought back Williams’ soft tones and meaningful lyrics. Mid-album track ‘Looking Up’ was Williams’ view on the trouble that the band had had with each other, and how they had come out on top. Concluding song ‘All I Wanted’ also saw the vocalist attempt to expand her abilities in the form of this track, which took her voice to higher notes than we had ever heard before. Soon after the release of Brand New Eyes, Taylor York became an official member of the band.

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Unfortunately, it appeared as though the trouble between the members had never really been resolved, as in late 2010 Hayley, Jeremy and Taylor released a statement on paramore.net explaining that Josh and Zac Farro would be leaving the band, as they did not want to continue with the group. Josh stated that he thought the band had become a manufactured product of their record label, something which the remaining three members felt they had addressed years ago.

With two of their founding members gone, the future looked bleak for Paramore as the trio had to decide what their next step was. Not wanting to let down the fans, and wanting to carry on themselves, Hayley, Jeremy and Taylor announced that they would be releasing new music in 2011. Although this music would not be a full-length album, 2011 would definitely see the band keep busy; along with writing for their fourth album the band recorded the song ‘Monster’, which appeared on the ‘Transformers: Dark Of The Moon’ soundtrack. They then released three songs, ‘Renegade’, ‘Hello Cold World’ and ‘In The Mourning’, which became known as ‘The Singles Club’, and were only available to download from Paramore’s website.

Their fourth album, which was self-titled, was then released in mid 2013, and ranked #1 on the USA’s Billboard Chart. The record was very different than any of their other albums, firstly with a 17 track-listing it was much longer than their previous offerings; but what had altered the most was the sound. Although Paramore’s sound had slightly changed through their previous three records, the essence could still be felt through the songs; it seemed that after the departure of Josh Farro the band had decided to take a slightly different road in their music – something which the trio had earlier expressed would happen. This was not to say that they were not the same old Paramore that we had come to know and love, as songs such as ‘Now’, ‘Anklebiters’ and ‘Part II’ (which is sort of a sequel to the song ‘Let The Flames Begin’ from Riot!) still screamed classic Paramore with their hard guitar riffs and intense vocals. However tracks like ‘Still Into You’, ‘Grow Up’ and the three ukulele songs showed that the band had not only stuck to their roots, but also taken a trip down the pop side of things. Something which seemed to play off in their favour in some respects, as last released single ‘Ain’t It Fun’ went on to be the band’s highest charting song.

Whether you love them or loathe them, there is no denying that this pop-punk band from Franklin, Tennessee have accomplished a whole lot in their 10 years together. They have lost members and gained members, and although Williams may have made some slightly odd choices recently with her various appearances in rap songs and sporting a very questionable fringe, right now the band seem closer than ever and world domination is still in their sights.

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Who would have thought that when this unknown band released their début album All We Know Is Falling, they would ignite a fire that would still be burning 10 years later.

Paramore’s Album Catalogue:

All We Know Is Falling – 2005

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Interesting Fact – The album is actually dedicated to 16 year-old Lanie Kealhofer, Hayley Williams’ friend who died on May 2005; the song Brighter on the record is also dedicated to her.

Riot! – 2007

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Interesting Fact – The back-up vocals provided on the album’s concluding track Born For This, were from fan Mary Bonney who had previously won a competition to sing on the song.

Brand New Eyes2009

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Interesting Fact – The butterfly that appears on the cover of Brand New Eyes is one that Hayley Williams found dead in the drive-way of her mother’s house; they pinned it to a fence and took a picture of it.

Paramore – 2013

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Interesting Fact – For their music video for Ain’t It Fun the band set about trying to break as many world records as they could, in total they broke 10.

Weird kids – We Are The In Crowd

The New York five-piece return with a much more mature album that will be singing its way around your head for weeks.

It has been a long time since We Are The In Crowd have released a record – about 3 years in fact – and with all that time the fans anticipation for their next album was sure to be very high. With ‘Weird Kids’ the band have met those expectations and surpassed them significantly; in a nutshell the album shows the band member’s transformation into young adults.

weird 1Straight away from the album’s opening track ‘Long Live The Kids’, it is obvious that the band have left behind their simple pop/punky style, and are starting on the road of a much mature record which looks at serious themes. A light piano and Tay Jardine’s – the lead singer – vocals drag us into the track, and as soon as the rest of the band come in it is obvious that this is a meaningful record. As Jardine sings about looking out for yourself and living how you want to live, “Hang on, be strong, long live the kids in us all”. However, despite what the lyrics say, it sounds as though the song is about anyone, that you should choose to live your life the way you want to; Jardine’s screams of “No, no, no, nooo” in the breakdown make sure of that. It is an anthem that starts off the journey of an incredible album.

‘The Best Thing (That Never Happened)’ is definitely the biggest track on the album, it forces its way in to your ears with an aggressive guitar riff as soon as the preceding track has finished; and will keep you listening as the band show how much they have grown since their last record. With lyrics like “So toxic, you ain’t nothing but a prick”, it is easy to see that Jardine is not messing around, the song’s meaning – about basically screaming to your ex that they are the ones missing out – appears to be one close to the vocalist’s heart. It’s such a well constructed song with a sing-a-long chorus that leaves you begging for more.

As the band – completed by Jordan Eckes on guitar, Mike Ferri on bass, Cameron Hurley on guitar and Rob Chianelli on drums – have matured through their music so have their fans, as they have grown-up with them. Whereas their 2011 album ‘ Best Intentions’ was a pop-punk party album that was more of a continuation of their 2010 EP ‘Guaranteed To Disagree’, Weird Kids is definitely taking a path to finding their sound. Everything about the album shows the band’s growth, whether it be the determined-to-make-a-statement lyrics from Jardine, the hard-hitting drums by Chianelli or the grainier sounding guitar riffs by Eckes, when they put it all together, you can’t help but sing a long and feel compelled to understand the lyric’s meanings.

As the album continues, ‘Attention’ kicks in; it was the first single released from this record, and gave fans a little taster of what was to come. The track combines the band’s new style in the verses with a pop/punk catchy chorus that mirrors their work on Best Intentions; the entire song gives everything that the group have right up until the end. As soon as this song finishes and ‘Dreaming Out Loud’ comes in we are reminded of the new sound which We Are The In Crowd are putting across. The track – which is the rockiest on the album – starts off with a very raw riff, and ends with an explosive screaming of the chorus which, like many of the other songs, ends too quickly and beckons for us listen again.

There are a lot of pop/punk bands out there making a name for themselves everyday, so it is quite easy to pass them by. WATIC offer something different though, something that makes them stand out from the others; the back and forth singing of Jardine and Eckes on nearly every song. By having the lead singer and guitarist exchange lines – and the fact that they are male and female – it gives them the opportunity to sing songs from two different perspectives. Just as they did on their 2010 EP with ‘Both Sides of the Story’; both sang from either sides of a break-up.

It is really hard to actually distinguish a weak song on the album, however the two that stand out more than any others are ‘Remember (To Forget You)’ and ‘Don’t You Worry’. Not because they are bad songs, but primarily because they come across as being more suited for the band’s previous album. The very light sing-a-long pop choruses just don’t fit in with the image that they are now trying to promote.

crowd 1‘Windows in heaven’ is a beautiful ballad from Jardine to her late father, and it captures the listener so well because of the lyrics which will be relatable to fans who have also lost loved ones. Through the entire song you can feel the vocalist pouring out her heart in hopes that her grandfather is proud of her, “If you could see me now, would you be pleased and proud.” I think it’s safe to say that he would be.

In the same way that their Best Intentions album ended with the powerful ‘Better Luck Next Time’, Weird Kids concludes with another catchy-hooking track – ‘Reflections’ – which will get any fan dancing around in their bedroom to. Just as the album opener screamed about living your life as you see fit, the closer touches on the topic once again, “Destiny is overrated, so I think I’ll write my own”. Jardine is giving a message to all the fans out there to write your own destiny and not live someone else’s. With that, the short album is over, and leaves you begging for more.

If this is We Are The In Crowd trying to find their sound, then I think they can stop looking. One thing is for certain, although these five kids may be weird, in the short 10-song album…they have definitely grown up.

Weird Kids is out now.

Listen to: The Best Thing (That Never Happened), Come Back Home and Dreaming Out Loud.

The full track-listing is as follows:

Long Live The Kids

The Best Thing (That Never Happened)

Manners

Come Back Home

Attention

Dreaming Out Loud

Remember (To Forget You)

Don’t You Worry

Windows In Heaven

Reflections

Cavalier Youth – You Me At Six

The Surrey quintet continue on the mission to find their sound on their fourth album; Cavalier Youth.

You Me At Six’s sound has constantly been changing since their début album ‘Take Off Your Colours in 2008; with their last album ‘Sinners Never Sleep taking the darker music route, which many pop-punk bands have been trying to do recently. With Cavalier Youth the band has stepped away from those dark themes and have taken their music to a place which slightly mimics their second album ‘Hold Me Down’, along with a new place which regrettably is more indie-rock sounding.

you_me_at_six_cavalier_youthThe album’s opener, ‘Too Young To Feel This Old’, is definitely a great song as it warms you up to the beginning of the record, with a calming guitar riff that would fit nicely into any song on Hold Me Down. However once we have been welcomed, and – lead singer – Josh Franceschi’s vocals pour in, something seems slightly odd. It’s not that the singer’s voice is somewhat different, because his vocals have been constantly changing throughout his career; it’s that his voice sounds so different in that first verse that I thought it was a different band playing. Thankfully the rest of the track, especially the breakdown, sounds like classic You Me At Six; and has opened up the album on a high note.

‘Lived A Lie’ was the first single that was released from Cavalier Youth, and was also what gave me the first clue that they were, although still a rock band, moving more over to the Indie side of things. Don’t get me wrong it is an enjoyable song, and one which I am sure will get a great reaction from a live crowd; but it just did not sound like one of their tunes. In a way it did scream You Me At Six in every way possible, but something just appeared to be missing and it is so hard to put my finger on what it was. It is not a bad song though, and Lived A Lie does fit in with this album well.

I am trying in the hardest way to not make this sound like the only reason I am slightly disappointed with this album is because it is more indie-rock themed, because that is not the reason. I just think that the band – completed by Max Helyer on guitar, Chris Miller on guitar, Dan Flint on drums and Matt Barnes on bass – were able to do so well in their own genre – whether that be pop-punk or rock – that there is no need for them to try to change that. Why not carry on down the same road that they already know and improve on that, rather than changing genres.

As the album proceeds onwards we get a feel for the sound of the songs, and if there is one song that sums up the entire album it would be ‘Fresh Start Fever’; the second single released from Cavalier Youth. It is a heart-pounding, fist-pumping, lung-screaming anthem that is going to get a tremendous sing-a-long at the band’s live shows. From the dramatic piano opening, through the foot-tapping chorus and to the climax the song just keeps on giving and never lets up. It is a power ballad all the way.

However much the band want a sound that comes across as more mature, there are always going to be aspects of their original material found in their albums; and ‘Room To Breathe is an example of that. With its raw guitar riff and Franceschi’s rough shouting vocals, this track sounds like a sequel to the likewise sounding ‘Tigers and Sharks’ from Take Off Your Colours. It is obvious that the band want to show that they have grown up, and Cavalier Youth shows that; but it is great that they still bring some of the same sound from the songs that got them their first group of followers.

Just as the previous track takes the listeners back to the earliest of the band’s work, ‘Win Some, Lose Some’ enters the album with a dark melodic guitar riff that mirrors the songs of Sinners Never Sleep, in fact the entire song could fit right into place on that record. The next couple of songs, including tracks ‘Hope For The Best’ and ‘Love Me Like You Used To’, simply portray what it is that the band do best; write thought-provoking lyrics, catchy tunes and fast-paced choruses that will have their fans singing at the top of their lungs in their bedrooms.

‘Be Who You Are’ shows a completely different side to the band, older fans will know that Franceschi has always sang songs from his heart and has no problem letting people know that. However this track sounds too much like a pop song, and I generally have a problem with interludes. When I purchase an album by a band I really like and in the middle of the tracks there is an instrumental song, it riles me up a bit because I would much rather have a full-length song by the band that I can sing along to.

ymas-promos-011-webhighresAfter the album took a slight detour from what I would call ‘You Me At Six music’, it gets back on track with the penultimate song on the record, ‘Carpe Diem’. As with the album opener the song draws you in with a comfortable catchy guitar riff – along with the drums and vocals. It is just an enjoyable easy-listening song which urges you to want to get up and dance, all the way through the choruses and up to the very end. Carpe Diem has been so well placed on the track-listing just as ‘The Dilemma’ was at the end of Sinners Never Sleep, they both pick their albums up from previous grim feeling songs.

Cavalier Youth ends in a way that appears to be tradition on a You Me At Six album; at least from the last three albums. It concludes with the same deep slow-toned sound on ‘Wild Ones’ which, just as ‘Fireworks’ and ‘When We Were Younger’ did on the preceding albums, looks at a topic quite close to the singer’s heart. In the past he has sung about letting the one you love be free and wanting your parents to be proud of you, once again on Wild Ones the topic is love; and it appears to be about the way you feel when you are with that special person.

It would have been easy to have just listened to this album by one of my favourite bands and said everything that I liked about it, but there were just too many weak points; and with there being such high anticipation surrounding the release of this album, it really needed to be more of a hard hitter that blew everyone away.

People keep saying that on Cavalier Youth You Me At Six have finally found their sound, personally I think their sound was found a long time ago…and hopefully sometime soon they will go back to it.

Cavalier Youth is out now.

Listen to: Fresh Start Fever, Love Me Like You Used To and Carpe Diem.

The full track-listing is as follows:

Too Young To Feel This Old

Lived A Lie

Fresh Start Fever

Forgive And Forget

Room To Breathe

Win Some, Lose Some

Cold Night

Hope For The Best

Love Me Like You Used To

Be Who You Are

Carpe Diem

Wild Ones

The Gaslight Anthem: The B-Sides

Once again we are treated to the velvety-toned soothing vocals of Brian Fallon and the band on this compilation album; that offers fans: extra songs which did not make it on to the studio albums, acoustic renditions of various tracks from the band’s records and a handful of covers.

The-Gaslight-Anthem-The-B-Sides-coverThe Gaslight Anthem emerged in 2006 and kicked off their career with their hard-pounding album ‘Sink or Swim’ in 2007, it mixed hard-rock together with an essence of blues. In 2008 they released their second album ‘The 59 Sound’, the album which launched them into the spotlight. They were featured on the cover of Kerrang! Magazine when they released The 59 Sound, making history as the first band to ever do that without being previously featured in the magazine. With this album the band nudged more over to the blues side of things, with the album offering heart-felled calming love songs along with hard-hitting rock tracks. 2010 saw the band release their third album, ‘American Slang’. Although it is their weakest album to date, it was not a bad record. It just focused more on melodic guitar riffs, rather than heavy rock anthems like the previous two. In 2012, their fourth studio album ‘Handwritten’ was released, and it offered all of their best elements; heavy rock, soul-sounding vocals, enchanting lyrics and melodic guitars. Although some fans will always say that The 59 Sound is their best album; Handwritten is not far off.

The acoustic tracks originate from their albums, The 59 Sound and American Slang; except for Antonia Jane which is a cover originally by Lightening Dust. These songs are not just your typical, quick acoustic versions which you might find on a magazine’s podcast; no these are properly studio produced and are quite alternate versions to the original songs. Fallon is not just singing their songs quieter with an acoustic guitar, there are different aspects added, such as backing vocals and other instruments in the background. In a way these tracks seem slightly more intimate, partly because they are more relaxing than the originals, but also because Fallon recording some of them in his own home, and not a studio.

What I have to say did disappoint me quite a bit was the fact that when I read ‘The Gaslight Anthem; The B-Sides’ I assumed that I was getting a few of Gaslight’s own songs which I had not previously heard. Unfortunately there is only one, ‘She Loves You’, which does not feature on any of their albums; the rest are either covers or acoustic songs. The covers were a nice touch, but I’d rather hear their covers live than have them on a CD. Don’t get me wrong I am glad that I purchased it, and I understand that these are the B-Sides from their released singles but more of their own tracks would have made this compilation that little bit extra special.

gaslight-anthemThis album is a must for any avid Gaslight Anthem fans, but I would not recommend it for every-now-and-then listeners.

The Gaslight Anthem are currently writing for their next album, and I am always anxious to hear what they are working on next…here’s looking at you kids.

The full track-listing is as follows:

She Loves You – Recorded at The Magic Shop in NYC.

The 59′ Sound (Acoustic) – Recorded at 91.5 Radio New York Studios.

State Of Love And Trust (Live) – Pearl Jam Cover, Recorded Live at Webster Hall. New York.

Tumbling Dice – The Rolling Stones Cover, Recorded at The Magic Shop in NYC.

The Queen Of Lower Chelsea (Acoustic) – Recorded by Brian Fallon at His House.

Songs For Teenagers – Fake Problems Cover, Recorded by Brian Fallon.

Great Expectations (Acoustic) – Recorded at 91.5 Radio New York Studios.

Antonia Jane (Acoustic) – Lightning Dust Cover, Recorded at Cutting Rooms Studios, NYC.

American Slang (Acoustic) – Recorded at The Magic Shop in NYC.

Boxer (Acoustic) – Recorded by Brian Fallon at His House.

Once Upon A Time – Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise Cover, Recorded Sage and Sound Studios and Mad Dog Studios.

Hail To The King – Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold prove they are back, with their sixth studio album which packs a ferocious punch into the metal genre.

It has been three years since we have heard from the foursome – apart from the song Not Ready To Die on Call Of Duty: Black Ops in 2011 – and the anticipation has been eating away at the fans. Mainly due to them wondering how the album would turn out. It was unknown whether or not their 2010 album Nightmare would even happen, due to the death of drummer Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan in 2009. It was uncertain if the band would be able to carry on, thankfully they did and produced a brilliant album which was a great dedication to Jimmy’s memory. It took the band a long time, however they were always going to come back to the studio, but the question was – would Hail To The King live up to the expectations, and it be worth the 3 year wait?Avenged-Sevenfold-Hail-to-the-KingThe record opens with ‘Shepherd of Fire’, a song which sets the dark atmospheric tone for the rest of the album. A sort of devilish, cataclysmic end-of-the-world theme which is echoed in to each of the preceding tracks. It begins the album with something that every metal album needs – an intro which gradually gets bigger and bigger as each instrument introduces itself into the song.

The album doesn’t let up as we delve straight into the band’s most recent single ‘Hail to the King’, which begins with an electric fast-paced riff, that continues into the hard-to-not-sing-along-to chorus. Which Shadows screams out as he sings about whether or not society needs all the people at the top who are in power, and why can’t we run our lives the way we want to. Doing Time is the next track, and although the shortest on the album – at only 3:27 – it is still a powerful metal punch, which gets your blood racing as it is one of the album’s fast-paced songs. Fans of Avenged have always known how unique Shadows’ voice is, it’s gritty raw tone defines their songs and it is used almost like another instrument in the band. So it is great when Shadows uses it to its full potential, which is what we hear in this song, his voice screams and nearly drowns out the rest of the band in a sort of Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) fashion.

For those of you not familiar with the band, Avenged Sevenfold consists of M. Shadows (vocals), Synyster Gates (guitar), Zacky Vengeance (guitar) and Johnny Christ (bass). Originating from Orange County California, the band were part of the heavy metal scene in the early 2000s along with Atreyu.

The middle of the record takes us on quite a varied journey, we get a story about the war within ourselves which we constantly fight on a daily basis in ‘This Means War’, and ‘Crimson Day’ is about Shadows wanting to be there for his son during his life. We are taken all 18th/19th century with ‘Requiem’ which turns the classic beautiful music pieces on their head, as the band create a heavy metal version of one.avengedsevenfold_650As soon as ‘Coming Home’ crept through the speakers it was obvious that it was going to be an instant anthem which rolled around in your head for weeks to come. It is definitely the most powerful song on the album and presents everything which is great about the band: a huge memorable chorus, a 2 minute guitar screeching solo and verses with riffs which make you want to raise your fist and bang your head as hard as possible.

The album seems to be much more slow-paced than some of their previous records, possibly because of the pace of new drummer, Arin Iljay. M. Shadows says that it is a metal album, and he’s not wrong, it’s just not as metal as their 2005 masterpiece ‘City Of Evil’, and their earlier albums – Waking The Fallen (2003) and Sounding The Seventh Trumpet (2001). Hail To The King takes aspects from different places in their career, it offers the face-melting guitar solos of City Of Evil, the thought-provoking lyrics from Nightmare and the powerful choruses presented by Shadows’ voice from their self-titled white album (2007).

Hail To The King is concluded in much the same way as their previous three albums did, with a song – ‘Acid Rain’ – which makes you listen and learn from the lyrics, whilst pumping out your best air guitar impression. The song never really takes off like ‘A Little Piece Of heaven’ did on The White Album though, and I don’t think the band are ever going to top the conclusion of City Of Evil which had ‘M.I.A’, one of the bands best efforts. But the huge screaming chorus and lyrics still dig right into your soul like “There’s no death, no end of time, when I’m facing it with you”. The band round off their sixth album with a tale about being with the one you love when the end of the world is happening, but not caring because as long as you have that person everything will be fine.

It has been said by some that Hail To The King is to Avenged Sevenfold, what The Black Album is to Metallica, and it is fairly obvious what they mean. Shadows has even said in interviews that this album is the band growing up and moving on from their previous albums, it shows a different side of Avenged, one that – in my own opinion – will see them creating music for many years to come.

Listen to: Doing Time, Heretic and Coming Home.

The full track-listing is as follows:

Shepherd of Fire

Hail To The King

Doing Time

This Means War

Requiem

Crimson Day

Heretic

Coming Home

Planets

Acid Rain

Paramore – Paramore

Back with an album that packs a mighty punch and a few very questionable hairdos, is Paramore.

Over the past four years the pop/rock band have had many ups and downs, one of the major downs being the departure of the ‘Farro’ brothers, Josh and Zac, in 2010. Leaving a question on the minds of thousands of fans…’what will happen next?’

It is now clear that what was happening during this time was the reignition of the band, who decided to carry on as a trio; Hayley Williams, Taylor York and Jeremy Davis. The self-titled fourth album from Paramore had quite high expectations, it would determine if the trio could still bring the power which made Paramore. Thankfully, it does.Paramore (1)When a band has not put out a full album in this amount of time, then it is usually the first song that will determine if they are going to pull you in to enjoy the rest. Opening track ‘Fast In My Car’, does do this, not only does it feel like a classic Paramore song, but it also accentuates their new sound, by opening with a powerful riff which carries the song.

The album continues with Paramore’s new sound when hard-hitting ‘Now’ begins to play; the first single released from the album. When this track was released it was obvious that the band were trying to take their music in another direction, by adding a greater rock feel to it. It is quite easy to lose yourself to a constant head nod during ‘Now’, but when listening to the lyrics it seems as though it is about rebuilding Paramore from the ashes after the ‘Farro’ brothers exited, “we’re starting over, we’ll head back in. There’s a time and a place to die, but this ain’t it.” Screams – lead singer – Hayley Williams. However when talking to the rock magazine ‘Kerrang!’, she assured them that none of the songs had been written with the ‘Farro’ brothers in mind.

As the record continues it falls into classic Paramore, which is not a bad thing; songs like ‘Grow Up’, ‘Daydreaming’ and recently released single ‘Still Into You’, take what the fans know and love about the Paramore sound and crank it up a notch to a new level of catchy hooking quality.

Being, in a way, a new beginning for the band, it gives them a chance to try something new and different. This is exactly what they do with ‘Ain’t It Fun’, which starts off with funky guitar riff, beckoning a tune to get you moving. By the end your ears are treated to a massive gospel choir outro singing “don’t go cryin’, to your mama, ’cause you’re on your own in the real world.” with Hayley giving the classics ‘whao-ho-ho-ho-hooos’ over the top. This isn’t the only time on the album that the trio do something slightly different. Throughout the tracks there are three interludes, ‘Moving On’, ‘Holiday’ and ‘I’m Not Angry Anymore’, which bring along with them some catchy ukulele strumming.

A real treat for avid Paramore fans comes in the song ‘Part II’, which, anyone who has the band’s 2007 album ‘Riot’, will realise that it sounds very familiar to ‘Let The Flames Begin’. Well by now you probably will have guessed that ‘Part II’ is actually the second part to ‘Let The Flames Begin’. It takes the band back to their original sound and blasts out a chorus on par with the first part.

Songs like ‘Last Hope’, ‘Proof’ and ‘[One Of Those] Crazy Girls’ are the ones which will be getting the biggest sing-a-longs at concerts, they sound as though they were written to be screamed back at the band whilst playing live. The funky guitar riffs mixed with hooking choruses and meaningful lyrics make these three of the best songs on the album.

paramore.promo_.2The 17-track record is much longer than their previous albums, which usually stay at around 11 or 12 songs; but the quality does not fizzle out towards the end. However, being their big comeback album, it could have ended with more of a bang. Don’t get me wrong, there have been many great albums which have ended brilliantly with a slow-meaningful song, but those songs are usually amazing. The last track, ‘Future’, begins with some real potential to be great, it’s deep, catchy and relaxing, however after two verses the track turns to a repetitive instrumental outro which fades in and out for the next 3 minutes. This does not take away the fact that this is an album that met all the expectations though.

Paramore have once again proved that they still have the fight left in them, and that the departure of two members may have been the best thing to have happened to the band.

Listen to: Proof, Interlude: I’m Not Angry Anymore and [One Of Those] Crazy Girls.

The album ‘Paramore’ is out now.

The full track-listing is as follows:

Fast In My Car

Now

Grow Up

Daydreaming

Interlude: Moving On

Ain’t It Fun

Part II

Last Hope

Still Into You

Anklebiters

Interlude: Holiday

Proof

Hate To See Your Heart Break

[One Of Those] Crazy Girls

Interlude: I’m Not Angry Anymore

Be Alone

Future

¡Dos! – Green Day

¡Dos! is the second album in the Green Day album trilogy, and unlike it’s predecessor, ¡Uno! – which took the band back to their roots of their 1994 album Dookie, and although not the best Green Day album was still a strong record all round – this album takes a different turn as it seems that the band are once again trying something new; as they did with ‘Kill The DJ’ on Uno!, which really did not suit the band well.

dosSongs such as ‘Fuck Time’, which does give off a Sex Pistols vibe and begins after a rather odd introductory track by Billie Joe Armstrong – lead singer of the band, which is completed by Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool – along with ‘Nightlife’ don’t show the band’s true potential; especially ‘Nightlife’ which is more a slow chat tied together with female vocals rather than a song.

The album does start to take off with ‘Lazy Bones’, but rather than taking fans back to what they know and love, they have created another song which should have been on their 2009 album ’21st Century Breakdown’, and you don’t need to ask any Green Day fans to know that they thought that was not the best album of their career.

The album then picks up and starts to become slightly darker with ‘Ashley’, which sets a lower tone for the rest of the album, however it does not stay on this path, it’s as if the band couldn’t make up their mind about the tone of the album. ‘Baby Eyes’ has the potential to be a powerful song, but as soon as the intro is over the song becomes sugar-coated and more light-hearted.

The track list ends with ‘Amy’, a tribute to Amy Winehouse, and signs off an album which does have high points and some great tunes such as ‘Stray Heart’, but with the hype that the band gave it by saying it’s like “you’re at the party”; an album with a lot more punch was to be expected.

Now we get ready for ¡Tre!

Listen to: Fuck Time and Lazy Bones.

The Full Track-Listing is as Follows:

See You Tonight

Fuck Time

Stop When The Red Lights Flash

Lazy Bones

Wild One

Makeout Party

Stray Heart

Ashley

Baby Eyes

Lady Cobra

Nightlife

Wow! That’s Loud

Amy