Meet the new Paramore, (almost) same as the old Paramore. “Monster,” from the Transformers: Dark of the Moon soundtrack, is the first studio recording from the band since guitarist and drummer brothers Josh and Zac Farro made their dramatic exit in December. Until now, the remaining trio has politely but firmly stood by as the dust from their blowup settles.
“Monster” is a different story altogether. Lyricist and vocalist Hayley Williams plays a lot with pronouns in the song, but her sights are almost definitely set on Josh Farro—as her ex-boyfriend, yes, but primarily as her ex-bandmate. A strongly implied undercurrent of the Farros’ departure has been theological disagreement. All the band members identify as devout Christians, but Josh Farro’s faith carries with it an evangelical certainty, whereas Williams’s few statements on the subject have been less conservative (for lack of a better word). Brand New Eyes was proof that the band could stand up to romantic conflict, but apparently they were ultimately religiously irreconcilable. (Williams’ lyrics include the narrator’s acceptance of, and her subject’s rejection of, a state of “not always knowing the answers.”) All of that said, the comparatively simple drumming on the song proves that despite ill feelings, Josh’s brother Zac, at least, will be missed by fans.
Paramore fans: does the song hold up to old Paramore? (Dare we put it in the running for Song of the Summer?) Paramore haters: is this any better or worse? Let us know in the comments!