There’s nothing more perilous for a band on the rise than the dreaded sophomore slump. You’ve had a successful debut and are now expected to replicate that success. That pressure can either be debilitating, or liberating. PVRIS (pronounced “Paris”) came into the alternative spotlight in 2014 with White Noise – a lush, atmospheric fusion of electro-pop rock (think Evanescence’s gothic style, with Paramore’s catchy hooks). Their second effort, All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell, refines their rough edges and explores a deeper, far more cutting emotional terrain. If White Noise hinted at the band’s scars, All We Know is them peeling away the bandages and revealing their wounded souls. Continue reading
No other band has been more influential in pop-punk than blink-182. Their trademark verve spawned a slew of imitators, none nearly as innovative as Blink was in their prime. Last year’s California was a bold reintroduction and a promising sign of life in the wake of one member’s unfortunate departure. Rejuvenated, it appears the band is taking in a victory lap with an encore-reissue of California. Spoiling us with 11 new tracks, California Deluxe proves that their collaboration with Matt Skiba was no fluke, and the re-release has arrived just in time for another round of summer. Continue reading
There are two sides to every fandom: the “die-hard” and the “true” fan. The former sticks with a band through thick and thin, while the latter longs for the good ol’ glory days. With the release of Linkin Park’s seventh studio album, the rift in fandom has never been more potent, or hostile. While fans (including myself) are fretting over where they stand, either with this new poppy iteration of the band or the one that gave them Hybrid Theory, Linkin Park has made a firm commitment on where they reside artistically with One More Light. Continue reading
You’d be hard-pressed to recall any band that made it beyond the Warped Tour circuit in its heyday. A launching pad for groups like New Found Glory, Yellowcard, Fall Out Boy, and My Chemical Romance, the challenge has always been finding relevance in the mainstream. Both Yellowcard and MCR have disbanded, while New Found Glory and Fall Out Boy have managed to survive in a radio climate that favors EDM and big name stardom (NFG owed in large part to their loyal fanbase, while FOB being fortunate to have broad appeal). It’s do or die, and Paramore is no stranger to the credo. Continue reading
Earlier this week, Alternative Press released a list of this year’s ten essential albums. Paramore’s self-titled effort was among the select few (number 2, in fact) and I couldn’t agree more. Though the album was released in April, I didn’t get a chance to review it, mostly because I’ve been rocking to it nonstop. So, to commemorate a well-deserved spot on a list dedicated to all things rock, I thought I’d finally give my take on my personal favorite album of 2013. Here’s my review of Paramore.