Paramore, Tegan & Sara, New Found Glory, and Kadawatha - 2010 Summer Tour EP
Record Label: Fueled By Ramen
Release Date: July 20, 2010
Released on July 20, 2010 in order to promote the upcoming 2010 Honda Civic Tour, Fueled by Ramen has released a six track EP featuring headliners Paramore, Tegan and Sara, New Found Glory, and Kadawatha.
Paramore offers two tracks recorded at England's Wembley Arena during their UK tour for brand new eyes. The EP kicks off with a live version of "Ignorance," brand new eyes' first single. While many people would say live tracks are cop outs for albums and EPs, Paramore consistently delivers great performances, which makes it somewhat forgivable. Hayley Williams is, as usual, a beast on the microphone; she flows seamlessly from melodic tones into yells that have the audience eating from the palm of her hand. The boys fare just as well delivering clean guitars and pounding drum beats. However, this recording faces the same problem Paramore's live album The Final RIOT! suffered from: you can barely hear the audience. As many attendees of Paramore shows will attest to, Hayley often gives the audience the chance to sing along. While potentially deafening at a show, it is borderline non-existent on this recording, thus destroying the live atmosphere. Additionally, even though this is a fine performance, it makes one wonder why another song such as "Brick by Boring Brick" or "Careful" were not included as the live performances.
A live version of "My Heart," a highlight from Paramore's debut All We Know Is Falling, makes an almost unexpected appearance as the EP's second track. With an explosive start, this live version pulls you in immediately and creates that atmosphere “Ignorance” lacked. The listener is again treated to a stellar performance from the Tennessee quintet. During the bridge, we can hear the clapping of the English crowd and Williams declare "This is the greatest moment of my entire life!" Josh Farro joins in with screams present on the original version of the song. Again, this is a section that could be made more prominent as it makes the song more powerful and emotional. The track finishes with a chorus of "oh-ohs," which was a staple of original performances and is a welcome return. This performance makes "Ignorance" sound like child's play and justifies not only Paramore's position as 2010 Honda Civic Tour headliner, but why they've become one of the most popular pop-punk acts of recent years.
The Quin sisters, better known to the world as Tegan and Sara, follow with a live acoustic version of "Back in Your Head" from their 2007 album The Con. From the opening xylophone, the audience is brought into a delightful and folksy show. Being unfamiliar with Tegan and Sara's music, it was quite nice to be transported from the intense and energetic sounds of a Paramore show into the more intimate setting of Tegan and Sara’s performances. The sisters possess haunting voices, which compliment their music perfectly. The stripped setting gives the listener an opportunity to truly appreciate the mature lyrics of "Back in Your Head." An all around solid performance and great song.
"Sheets," the first genuine b-side provided on this EP, is another relaxing number. While slightly more energetic than "Back in Your Head," it does not generate as much interest for one being newly introduced to the duo. On the positive side, this song allows listeners to recognize talented songwriters in the Quins with genuine, adult, and relatable lyrics. By no means will “Sheets” deter unfamiliar fans from checking Tegan and Sara out further, and will most likely thrill their already large fanbase.
The true veterans of this EP, New Found Glory provides the Not Without a Fight b-side "I'm the Fool" for this EP. Although this EP promoted as a compilation of rare and previously unreleased tracks, this song was also made available with iTunes’ release of [/color]Not Without a Fight which has been available for single track purchase since March 2009. Nevertheless, New Found Glory delivers a track possibly greater than most songs from the aforementioned album. Starting with simple guitar plucks from Chad Gilbert, Jordan Pundik enters with one of his best vocal performances ever. Additionally, "I'm the Fool" is a track that does not pretend to be something it is not. Sometimes, NFG attempts to promote a more hardcore edge (ex. “Don’t Let Her Pull You Down” and “I’ll Never Love Again”), but the tone of this song remains consistent and benefits from that stability. While the lyrics may not be particularly unique or mature, New Found Glory gives their fans what they've been expecting and loving from the group since Nothing Gold Can Stay: genuinely enjoyable pop-punk. Hopefully, this is the song where more recent fans will stop recognizing New Found Glory as "the band Hayley Williams' boyfriend is in" and begin identifying them as the staple they've been for years.
Kadawatha, undoubtedly the most unfamiliar group featured on the EP, provides the number “Gonna Stay.” While it has a hook bound to get stuck in your head, something about the song seems forced. As the most heavily produced track, it’s inclusion does not fit in as seamlessly as the previous five. There is a presence of ‘80s influence and modern rock numbers in "Gonna Stay" that does create an intriguing combination and hope for future Kadawatha releases. There is indeed promise for Kadawatha, but “Gonna Stay” is not the most accurate representation of that potential.
Overall, Fueled by Ramen has provided a nice little EP for attendees of the tour. While some may be turned off by live versions and the previously available songs, there is no reason to ignore this release. Old fans will be pleased and new fans will welcome new sounds into their ears.