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DLC Week of 3/30: Paramore “Misery Business” and “This is Why”

Paramore “Misery Business” and Paramore “This Is Why” show the impressively creative evolution of this powerful trio’s take on jagged, impactful post-punk songcraft. You need to check out this new DLC debuting Thursday in the Rock Band Music Store!

“Misery Business,” from 2007’s Riot! LP – the second album from Franklin, Tennessee-based Paramore – was the trio’s breakthrough hit, catapulting the band to stardom. 

Penned by a 17-year-old Hayley Williams, the group’s lead vocalist, the single tells the tale of a chaotic love triangle between teenagers. Williams’ authentically representative lyrics are delivered with authority, power, and control, while Zac Farro’s confidently potent drums and the muscular guitar chugging of Taylor York match her enthusiasm and energy every step of the way. Initially kicking off with a lo-fi, acoustic, semi-mariachi take on “Misery Business”’ main guitar figure, at the 14-second point, the band fully kicks into gear. Frenetic beats and massive vocal melodies abound and – yikes! – those cutting lyrics. Suffice to say: best to not get on Williams’ bad side. 

At the time of the song’s release, Farro explained, "The song is about a girl who ruined one of our friend's lives with sex, using her sexuality to get what she wanted. And it really affected us, watching him crumble. So, when Hayley wrote 'Misery Business,' she posted online how she wanted to encourage our fans not to be scared to say what you feel or what you're ashamed of, because once you do, you're setting yourself free. We had a huge response.” 

But back to the actual music. At 2:05, the intensity gets dialed back just a bit for a mellow-ish bridge before an ever-more-urgent drum fill about 10 seconds later pairs with rapid-fire, forceful vocals that segue seamlessly into a tasteful guitar solo at 2:27 that really allows York to shine. Unaccompanied drums and vocals return for an exciting transition into one final, forceful refrain. “Banger” is quite possibly a term originally coined to describe “Misery Business,” specifically. It’s no surprise this biting screed to a toxic “mean girl” soared to number 3 on the Hot Modern Tracks chart. If you know this track, you’re already familiar with its energy and force; if you’re new to “Misery Business,” get ready to have your world rocked.

After a break of nearly six years, eager Paramore fans were rewarded with the group’s sixth LP, This Is Why, in February of 2023. The disc soared to the very top of the U.S. Top Rock Albums – the band’s first ever #1 on that chart – and #2 on the Billboard 200. 

The title track is a jittery, poison-laced post-punk anthem attacking the evils of social media and reacting to Williams’ quiet, at-home life away from fronting a massive band during the band’s self-imposed hiatus, as well as the COVID-related lockdowns of the past few years. "It summarizes the plethora of ridiculous emotions," she explains. "The roller coaster of being alive in 2022, having survived even just the last three or four years… When I was writing the lyrics, I was like, this social experiment – the internet – has been going wrong since day one. It exposes and exploits the general population's blatant disregard for nuance." 

The trio’s got a lot to say and with this jagged, caustic – and boldly adventurous – single, they’re delivering a fearless three minutes and 26 seconds of message packaged in infectious melody and powerful performance. 

That “This Is Why” exists as a force to be reckoned with is, at least in part, due to the collaborative and almost trance-like writing process. "It was all of us being together, trying a different verse, maybe stripping it down to drums and bass, [then] Hayley came in and Taylor added his parts," Farro has said. "It became these cool building blocks and that was refreshing. With the other songs, we knew what we wanted, but with this one, we were following the song." 

So let us also “follow the song,” shall we? Beginning with a simple, danceable drum beat punctuated by delay-rich stabs of guitar, things tighten to a dance-floor groove at the 15-second mark as a decidedly seductive bass line joins the fray. Williams’ softly sultry coo in the first verse leads the listener to the absolutely huge sing-along chorus. It’s a variation on the never-fails quiet/loud song structure and Paramore makes the most of the construct. At 2:12 we get a respite of sorts as the bridge embraces a more measured approach before, at 2:50 it’s a triumphant revisit of the absurdly catchy refrain – times two (double-choruses are another winning device to close out a song). 

This cut is the celebration of the return of one of the most beloved groups in rock. Welcome back Paramore! 

Paramore “Misery Business” and Paramore “This Is Why” are available for $1.99 each.

  • Paramore – “Misery Business”
  • Paramore – “This Is Why”

VIDEO: Rock Band 4 DLC Week of 3/30: Paramore “Misery Business” and Paramore “This is Why” 



*Please note that this week’s DLC tracks will be available for purchase on Thursday, March 30th.