Paramore - "Future"
The punk-to-shoegaze pipeline finds an unlikely ally
If you lived within close proximity to a mall between the years of 1999 and 2009, you probably lived near a Journeys. This was a chain that essentially cornered a market adjacent to Hot Topic, but more pop punk than goth and metal.
I lived in an outdoor mall from 2005 to 2007, and made friends with the manager of the local Journeys named Steve just because I passed his store a few times a day. (I think we’re still friends on PSN after all these years.) We would talk frequently about music, though when the discussion veered to modern pop punk and emo (and associated acts like, say, Paramore), my eyes would glaze over and we’d quickly switch the subject.
I’m thankful to have skipped the wave of emo and pop-tinged punk acts from the ‘00s, focusing more on the New York punk- and post-punk-influenced bands of the time and whatever phase …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead was in. Yet over the years, I dipped into what I missed a bit (thanks mostly to Chorus.FM and their weekly newsletter). Out of all the bands — the Warped Tour, Fueled By Ramen, Journeys-soundtracking lot — it seems Paramore faired the best in the long run, as they could actually write songs.
“Future,” the closer of the band’s self-titled album, veers away from their pop-punk trappings and straight into the heavy shoegaze that permeated throughout the ‘10s. Bands like Title Fight, Ceremony, and other more “hardcore” bands added more distortion and fuzz to their sound, still veering on the heavy side of things while adding more melodies. Paramore joined the fray, and early, too, experimenting with sonics that couldn’t be further from the pop-tinged singles that made them famous. When someone suggested I started with this song instead of the band’s debut album, they couldn’t have been more on the nose. Perhaps it’s an equally good starting point for you, too.