Paramore’s triumphant entrance into the music scene in 2004 resulted in an explosion of female fronted pop-punk bands that tried to emulate Paramore’s sound. Some of these finds were success stories, like We Are The In Crowd or The Hype Theory, or they just faded into the background to never be heard of again. One of the success stories of this wave of pop-punk bands is the UK-based band Everybody Looks Famous. Championed by the likes of the BBC and Kerrang!, ELF captured the hearts of the UK with their live performances and catchy pop-punk anthems. Their debut album Fuel to the Fire confirmed their growing hold on pop-punk.
Their highly anticipated EP Earth lives up to all the hype surrounding it. One of the special things about Earth is that it was a result of a crowd-funding. ELF encouraged their fans to pledge money to help fund the EP. Pledgers would be given access to a special “Pledgers Only Zone” where they could enjoy special exclusive content. Also, depending on how much money you pledged, you could get VIP passes to a show or even have the band play an acoustic show at your house. This demonstrates how bands are turning towards crowd-funding to increase fan interaction and finding unique ways to fund album releases
The hype surrounding Earth was amazing. Upon the announcement of Earth, I remember my Twitter timeline going bezerk with tweets about ELF. People were tweeting left, right and centre about how excited they were about Earth. I can successfully say that they hype surrounding Earth was well deserved. It is truly fantastic.
The EP opens with the melodic and beautiful “Echo”. This song is a soaring pop-punk anthem tinged with a delicate piano medley. The track is filled with tasty guitar licks and riffs that chug out gently beneath Lex’s beautiful soaring vocals. The song is jammed full of tasty hooks that will leave the song stuck in your head for an extensive period of time. The lyrics lean towards being the typical clichéd love song lyrics yet that just adds to the charm of the song.
“The Wanderer” launches into a more familiar pop-punk sound that every angsty teenager would know from their Paramore phase. (Don’t lie. You’ve all had one of these and its nothing to be ashamed of.) The opening guitar riffs remind me off the Riot years of Paramore. It is refreshing to see a band returning to that in-your-face punk sounding guitar riff that is rare to find within pop-punk. It is an upbeat and energetic song that I hope shall get a lot of live play.
“Hiding Places” continues with the in-your-face pop-punk sound. The song incorporates the typical angsty pop-punk love song lyrics while maintain a latent sense of aggression. In a way, ELF are filling the gap that Paramore left with when they decided to take a more mainstream sound on their latest album. ELF is playing straight into the agro female pop-punk band slot and it suits them perfectly.
They temper this pop-punk aggression with the slightly more delicate song “These Days”. This song shows the more pop side of the punk and shows a delicate aspect of the band as it incorporates a soaring piano medley underlain by a gentle acoustic guitar which eventually progress to a chugging guitar riff punctuated by pop-punk styled guitar licks. Lex’s voice maintains an ever-so beautiful quality on this song.
Everybody Looks Famous has done well in a genre that is full of bands that try to emulate the very sound that they produce. They have managed to create a pop-punk album that is bursting with energy and originality. They have managed to create an album that returns latent female aggression back to pop-punk.