Review Summary: Although not their strongest work to date, Singles Club EP proves post-Farro Paramore aren’t willing to let one or two setbacks derail them
When Paramore, pretty explosively, lost two of their key members in late 2010, there was a general feeling that the band were likely to be on the brink of collapse. Whether the band could keep together or not (considering that of the three remaining members, one had already quit the band once before and another had only officially joined around a year previously- on top of the frictions that the band had supposedly been experiencing for a while) was called into question and even if they could, there were doubts as to if they’d be able keep up with the quality of music that had previously ensured they remained ahead of their peers in their competitive musical field. Their image and authenticity were also damaged following ex-member Josh Farro’s claims that Paramore were ‘manufactured’ and that Hayley Williams treated the band as backing instrumentalists to her own solo project.
Although not particularly cohesive (the songs having been released individually already), the EP provides a small collection of tracks that give a brief glimpse into Paramore’s world over their first year after the Farro brothers. In terms of quality, the songs don’t quite match up to Paramore’s previous material- the hooks aren’t quite as strong or as catchy, but they’re decent enough and it’s refreshing to see that the band are ready to move on so eagerly and are determined to find out for themselves what the future holds for them. In the short space of just over 13 minutes, Paramore touch on bits of their past and on sounds which are relatively new. With their comparatively simple structures, uplifting hooks and polished production, “Renegade” and “Hello Cold World” hark back to the innocent pop-punk fun of the Riot!
era. “In The Mourning” is a slower, more ballad-y song which brings out an acoustic guitar and could easily have fitted in on Brand New Eyes
. They’re all decent enough songs but “Monster”, with its immense chorus and excellent vocal performance to match, is by far the highlight of the EP. Not only that, but it doesn’t quite sound like anything Paramore have tried before- featuring a prominent bass and fiddly guitar lines, the comparisons the song has been getting to Circa Survive are easy to understand and show a movement away from the pop-punk of the past into a more rock-centric sound.
If 2011 is the year Paramore found themselves in limbo, we should hope to see a fantastic return to form when they hopefully settle on their future musical direction. The EP is too short and the songs too few to confirm any specific direction that Paramore might take in the future and at its heart it’s still a simple collection of pop-punk (or at most radio-friendly alternative rock) songs, complete with lyrics suited to many a Tumblr post and power chords galore. But it does prove that Paramore aren’t prepared to give up their crown just yet, and anticipates a fantastic return to form with their future material.