Paramore released their classic album RIOT! 10 years ago today on 12th June 2007.
Paramore have recently released their latest album and it’s notably very different to their previous music. Gradually Paramore have developed from semi-emo punk rock and screamo in All We Know Is Falling to a Bombay Bicycle Club-esque indie sound complete with marimba beats and bright colours. However, what is arguably their best album and the one that gives me an intense wave of nostalgia is RIOT!
As a teenager, my hardcore obsession with Paramore lasted from All We Know Is Falling up to Brand New Eyes after which I felt Paramore had moved too far away from the reason I was an obsessive fan in the first place. I really feel that Paramore as a band are defined by RIOT!. It has the perfect blend of emotional punk rock and anthemic choruses without going overboard on screamo or trying too hard to be sad and experimental. RIOT! was not only musically brilliant but reached out to those who felt like outcasts and the frustration of feeling like you don’t belong – ‘Misery Business’ perfectly depicts that. The lyrics also spoke about standing up to your peers or not letting them get to you. ‘Fences’, for example, was relatable on that level: “Don’t look up just let them think there’s no place else you’d rather be”.
RIOT! was also the album where Hayley Williams developed her unique, colourful look. Although her deep red hair during ‘All We Know’ made her look like a young rock goddess, her bright orange locks in the videos for ‘Misery Business’ and ‘Crush Crush Crush’ is iconic. As one of the only super-successful female-fronted punk bands in the noughties, Hayley was as inspiration to me. She reflected my teen angst in her look and in her music and made a success of it.
The albums following on from this gradually moved away from angsty punk, but faster than I was growing out of my RIOT! phase, making it the one album of Paramore’s that I always had an emotional connection to. It was the soundtrack to a key point in my personal development and I am sure the same can be said for so many of Paramore’s fans.
Paramore’s music now is still good, but it could never harness the same emotional impact on an angsty teen now as it did then.
Check out the classic music video for ‘Misery Business’ below: