By Joseph Brannigan Lynch
Updated June 03, 2011 at 10:44 PM EDT
Jonathan Shensa/PR Photos

Although “Monster” is the first official single from Paramore following the acrimonious departure of founding members Josh and Zac Farro, you wouldn’t be able to tell the band is two members short just from listening.

The remaining trio stays the marketably melancholy course on this song for the Transformers: Dark of the Moon soundtrack.

“Monster” is exactly the kind of dark, tightly-constructed emo you would expect from Paramore. Sure, it’s a tad sludgier than their usual fare, but the crisp, angular guitar work keeps the track from sounding too close to ’90s alt-rock.

The most interesting thing about this single, however, are the lyrics: My (conspiracy) theory is this song is about airing rock stars’ dirty laundry, and not Robots in Disguise. Listen to it here:

“Now that you’re gone, the world is ours,” lead singer Hayley Williams declares. And yeah, Megatron could conceivably utter that sentence, but she’s probably not singing this song from the perspective of the Decepticon overlord.

Of course, it could be just a meaningless filler lyric, but the whole song is addressed to an unnamed naysayer: “I’m not the villain despite what you’re always preaching,” etc.

The band’s split was an infamously rocky one; following the Farro brothers’ exit, the surviving members released a statement saying, in part, “None of us were really shocked—for the past year it hasn’t seemed as if they wanted to be around anymore.”

Unhappy with the implications of that official statement, Josh Farro pulled no punches with his blog response. He alleged that Paramore had turned into “a manufactured product of a major label” and devolved from a collective effort to Williams’ solo project. (In fact, the current iteration of Paramore has admitted that Williams is the only band member technically signed to Atlantic Records.) So it wouldn’t be shocking if the remaining three members still have a beef with the Farro brothers.

What do you think about this new Paramore song? Can you detect a musical difference without the Farro brothers? Is it another success, or not what you were hoping for?

And when it comes to creating a soundtrack to Autobots fighting Decepticons, does this even hold a candle to the works of Stan Bush?


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